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a# fo/a to William i. Woraen u^ 


New York 






Parts of this book appeared in a serial version 
in The Saturday Evening Post under the title 
"My Three Years as a Dead Man." 

Library of Congress catalog card number: 54-7569 


To the many frienag 

who for three long years 

never gave up hope 

Table oj Content 

Collaborator's Note Ix 

Introductory 3 

i A War Begins 5 

ii Men Against Tanks 17 

in The Lonesome Mountains 40 

iv The Capture 59 

v A Small Boy from Texas 83 

vi The Battle of Ideas 107 

vii Colonel Kim and Friends 136 

viii A Gun That Wouldn't Fire 155 

ix A Trip to Manchuria 182 

x People, Cold, and Flies 206 

xi My Friend Wilfred Burchett 227 

xn Mail, Books, and Movies 251 

xin The Long, Long Last Days 274 

Korean War Chronology 299 

Index 3* 


Mrs. Dean receives from President Truman the Congressional 

Medal of Honor awarded to her husband 
General Dean's daughter and his grandson waiting for the plane 

bringing the General home 
Mrs. Dean receives congratulations after General Dean's name 

appeared on the list of prisoners of war 
William F. Dean, Jr., looks at pictures of his father 
General Dean at the airfield upon arrival 
President Eisenhower welcomes General Dean 
A lookout post on the 38th parallel 
South Korean troops march toward the front 
South Korean soldiers escort refugees from a burning town 
South Koreans applaud American soldiers 
Lieutenant General Walker and General Dean examine a map near 

the front lines 
Three American soldiers who worked their way hack through 

enemy lines 

Infantrymen of the 24th Division rest in a field 
This wrecked Red tank stands as a memorial to General Dean 
Pictures of General Dean taken by the North Koreans 
American soldiers captured by North Korean forces 
General Dean during an interview with Wilfred Burchctt, cor- 
respondent of Le Soir 
General Dean and Wilfred Burchctt 
General Dean writing letters 
General Dean taking his daily walk 
General Dean playing chong-gun, a form of chess 
General Dean arriving at Panmunjom 
General Dean during an inter vie w at Freedom Village 
General Dean is interviewed by news correspondents 


Mrs William I'. Dean of Berkeley, California, receives from President Truiran, on 

I, nu ,rv 9 .9,-., the Concessional Medal of Honor : nvardcd ro her husband Ma,oi 

General William F. Denn, missing in action in Korea. Brigadier General Robert 

Landrv is at: center. (}l r iJc World Photos) 

William F, Dean, Jr., then a second 

classman at; the U.S. .-Military Acad- 
emy, looks at some of the first pictures 
of his father to be made available after 
his release, September 4, 1953. (/h'sa- 
c'urtcd Tress News photo) 

(.Ab(n\') General Dean embraces his mother at the airfield upon arrival, Sep- 
tember 23, 1953. The General's wife is at the right. (Wide World Photos) 

(Bcloiv) President Kisenhower welcomes General Dean during a visit to the 
White I louse, October 21, 1953. ( If/t/f W'orhl I'hotos) 

(Above) A lookout post on the tfth parallel. On |unc : 4 , i< h -,, \Jonh korrm 
troops invaded South Korea on a wide front. (ITA/i- II WA/ /Y.^/an 

(Below) South Korean troops march toward the front on June 30, 1950. (Wide 
World Photos) 

(Above) South Korean soldiers escort refugees from a burning town near the 
battle line, July 8, 1950. (Wide World Photos) 

(Below) South Koreans applaud American soldiers as they arrive in an unidentified 
city shortly before moving into the front lines, July 8, 1950. (Wide World Photos) 

(Above} Lieutenant General Walton H. Walker, Commanding General U.S. 
Eighth Army (left), and General Dean, Commanding General 24th Infantry Divi- 
sion, examine a map near the front lines. July 8, 1950. (Wide World Photos) 

(Below) Three American soldiers, who worked their way back through enemy 

lines, are safe in Yongdong on July 27, 1950, one week after the fall of Taeion. 

(Wide World Photos) 

(Above) Infantrymen of the 2 4th Division rest in a field, July 29, 1950. ( Wide 
World Photos) 

(Below) This \vrccked Red tank stands on a Taejon street corner as a memorial 
to General Dean. After the battle he eluded the enemy for thirty -five days, until, 
weakened and sick, he was captured on August 25, 1950. (Wide World Photos) 

These t\vo pictures were taken by die Communists in Nonh Korea in October 1950. 

(East I 'o to) 

The official Soviet photo agency, which distributed this picture, describes 
as American soldiers captured by North Korean forces. (Ititerj/Jtiui/t 


When General Dean asked his interpreter, Lee Kyu Ilyun, 
about other American prisoners, Lcc replied, "Oh, the men in 
your camps are very happy, very merry, very cheerful, happy. 
They're whistling and singing and cracking jokes all the time." 


This picture of General Dean was taken on December :i, 1951, during an interview 
with Wilfred Burchetr, correspondent of Lc Soir. This was the General's first con- 
tact with the outside \vurld since his capture. (International News Photos) 

(Above) General Dean and \Vilfrcd Burchcrr in rlic General's cramped c|unrtcrs 
about ten miles from Pyongyang. (\\ r !dc World I'botos) 

(Ih'low) General I)c;in writing letters -with difficulty. For more than a ye;ir he 
had been without: writing materials of any kind, (Eastfoto) 

(J/wiv) General Dean taking his daily walk. Because of strict orders that he Mas 

not to be seen, it \\as only toward the end of his captivity that he \vas permuted 

to" exercise. (\\ r idi! W'orld Photos) 

(Below] General Dean passes the time immediately before his release playing 
chont>-o'un, a form of chess, with an unidentified Communist guard. (Wide World 


General Denn arriving at Panmunjoni for repatriation, September 4, 1953. 
World Vhotos) 

<- ^ "-"* x^jrrSztr Vi " np! attcr rqxun; 

General Dean is interviewed by ne\\s correspoiulenis m I'Yeetlom Village on the 

first da}' of his release, after ha\inL> been a prisoner of the Communists' for three 

years. (IT/t/c World I'boios) 

Collaborator's! Note 

When Major General William F. Dean and I sat down to put 
his experiences into book form, I was equipped with a tape 
recorder, various maps, some reference books, and materials 
for writing down quickly the things he told me before I 
should forget them. 

General Dean, on the other hand, was equipped with noth- 
ing whatever but an astonishing and almost frightening abil- 
ity to recall, without props, every single thing that had hap- 
pened in three years. He had forgotten nothing. For more 
than fifty hours he told the story of his three years day by 
day, hour by hour, with places, dates, the quality and quantity 
of meals, Korean names, temperatures, crop conditions, house 
plans, speeches made to him, anecdotes, military details, bits 
of Communist theory and practice. Seldom did he hesitate, 
and never did he fail to recall an important fact. A single 
notebook finally was produced, mainly to help with transla- 
tions of Korean words but he had possessed neither this nor 
any other writing materials during the first year and a half 
of his captivity. 

It may be heresy for a writer to admit it, but the fact is, 
General Dean wrote this book himself by speaking it. Not 
only are the facts his own, without additions from me, but 
the language is his own. The writing consisted mainly of re- 
moving from the tape-recorder report the pauses, occasional 


x Collaborator's Note 

repetitions, and sounds of rattling maps which interrupted or 

slowed the fascinating telling. 

For two men of differing professions, I think we worked in 
remarkable harmony. I didn't force him to match my con- 
tinual cigarette smoking; he did not insist that I arise at his 
customary five a.m., walk five miles a day, or run up stairways 
rather than use elevators. 

On only one point did we have a serious disagreement. 
William Frishe Dean is an almost painfully honest man. I'm 
quite sure that he has stood off from himself in judgment, 
given himself the benefit of equitable doubts (but no more), 
and weighed his own conduct as a general, a fugitive, and a 
prisoner. The result is his considered and definite decision: he 
does not think General Dean is either a great commander or 
a true hero. 

I think he is. 




If the story of my Korean experiences is worth telling, the 
value lies in its oddity, not in anything brilliant or heroic. 
There were heroes in Korea, but I was not one of them. 
There were brilliant commanders, but I was a general cap- 
tured because he took a wrong road. I am an infantry officer 
and presumably was fitted for my fighting job. I don't want 
to alibi that job, but a couple of things about it should be 
made clear. In the fighting I made some mistakes and I've 
kicked myself a thousand times for them. I lost ground I 
should not have lost. I lost trained officers and fine men. I'm 
not proud of that record, and Pm under no delusions that my 
weeks of command constituted any masterly campaign. 

No man honestly can be ashamed of the Congressional 
Medal of Honor. For it and for the welcome given to me 
here at home in 1953, I'm humbly grateful. But I come close 
to shame when I think about the men who did better jobs- 
some who died doing them and did not get recognition. I 
wouldn't have awarded myself a wooden star for what I did 
as a commander. Later, as fugitive and prisoner, I did things 
mildly out of the ordinary only at those times when I was 
excited and not thinking entirely straight; and the only thing 
I did which matteredto my family and perhaps a few others 
was to stay alive. 

Other prisoners resisted torture, but I wasn't tortured. 


4 General Dean's Story 

Others hid In the hills and finally escaped, but I failed in my 
escape attempts. Others bluffed the Communists steadily, 
whereas I was lucky enough to do it only once in a while. 
Others starved, but I was fed and even learned to like ki?nchee. 
Others died for a principle, but I failed in a suicide attempt. 

I can justify writing this book only because mine -was an 
adventure without a heroand because I did see the face of 
the enemy close up, did have time to study his weaknesses 
and his remarkable strengths, not on the battlefield but far 
behind his lines. I saw communism working with men and 
women of high education or none, great intelligence or little 
and it was a frightening thing. 

Otherwise I can guarantee only to show how a grandfather 
came close to hating little boys, how important standing up 
is when you haven't been able to stand for sixteen months 
and the best way to kill a fly. I ought to know. I swatted 
40,671 flies in three years and counted every carcass. There 
were periods when I was batting .850 and deserved to make 
the big leagues. 


A. 'War 

As a general officer, I'm an in-between, curious sort, who never 
went to West Point, did not see action in World War I, and 
did not come up from the enlisted ranks. I was born in Car- 
lyle, Illinois, on August i, 1899 (almost between centuries). 
My dentist-father, Charles Watts Dean, was partially respon- 
sible for my interest in the Army. He took me to the 1904 
St. Louis Exposition, where I saw West Point cadets and sol- 
diers drilling and I never quite rid myself of the interest they 

Not that this interest did me any particular good for a long 
time. I spent my boyhood in Carlyle, much of it doing body- 
building exercises. I suppose I'm still something of a physical- 
fitness crank, in that I do daily calisthenics, try to walk at 
least five miles a day, and never ride an elevator if it's prac- 
ticable to run up and down stairs. One of my first jobs was 
selling magazines to make spending money, and I developed 
quite a resentment against the Saturday Evening Post when its 
circulation men appointed a second agent in town during a 
small boom. I thought then that they had robbed me of a 
chance to make real profits, but I guess we're friends now. 
Early in 1954 the Post published six articles containing por- 
tions of this book. 

After graduating from high school I tried for the Military 


6 General Dean's Story 

Academy at West Point and missed, which was a severe dis- 
appointment. I also tried to enlist for World War I, but my 
mother, Elizabeth Frishe Dean, refused her permission, so I 
missed on that too. (I was under-age to enter the Army with- 
out permission.) 

The only military organization I could join was the Stu- 
dents' Army Training Corps at the University of California, 
where I enrolled in what now would amount to a pre-law 
course. The whole family moved west, and the surviving 
members still live in Californiamy mother in Berkeley; my 
sister, Mrs. Leonard Ver Mehr, at Antioch; and my brother 
David at Kenwood. 

To stay in the university I earned money as a temporary 
stevedore on the San Francisco docks, as a trolley conductor 
or motorman, briefly as a restaurant dishwasher, and then as 
a beat-pounding patrolman on the Berkeley police force when 
August Vollmer, father of many modem criminology meth- 
ods, was testing his ideas as chief of police. 

I should have earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1921, but 
failed a course in legal contracts and so had to stay another 
year. I never did complete work for the doctor of laws degree 
toward which I was aiming, but I've never regretted this 
especially. I didn't care much for the law, and I've always 
been disturbed by the victories of technicalities over equity. 

Besides, I just couldn't stay away from the Army. Perhaps 
it was my mother's German blood beginning to tell. I secured 
a regular commission as a second lieutenant on October 18, 
1923, on the basis of my student reserve training and an ex- 
amination. My first post was fairly indicative of what was to 
come an assignment to troops of the 3 8th Infantry Regiment 
at Fort Douglas, Utah. 

This was the period in which, contrary to the popular re- 

A War Begins 7 

frain, practically nobody loved a soldier. Enlistments were 
difficult, promotions for junior officers were slow to non- 
existent because of the "bulge" of company-grade regular offi- 
cers who had stayed in the Army after World War I, and 
relations between military posts and adjacent cities were cool, 
at best, and more often on the level of ignoring each other. 

But we in the Army still did have some horses, and these 
brought about what was to me the most important event of 
my three years at Fort Douglas a young lady fell off a horse 
on her head. The post commandant, as a gesture toward ce- 
menting understanding between people at the fort and in 
Salt Lake City, had organized a Saturday riding group, and 
young women from the town were invited to use the Army 
horses. Some of the younger officers kept polo ponies, and I 
had a couple of my own (they could be bought for thirty 
dollars each, and we schooled them ourselves), but for the 
civilian riders we usually saddled up some of the older, pre- 
sumably safer Army-owned stock. One Saturday when I had 
the duty of assigning the riders, I took a look at a pretty girl 
named Dorothy Welch and decided she had a little too much 
daring for most of our horses. So I put her up on old Dick, 
an elderly crow-bait who was the non-moving champion of 
our stable. I thought not even she would be able to get him 
past a walk, but I was wrong. Somehow she got old Dick into 
a gallop, and he promptly threw her in a gully. 

She suffered a skull fracture and went into a coma from 
which she didn't recover for twelve days. I felt terribly re- 
sponsible for the accident and went to her home frequently 
to see her. There I met one of her close friends, Mildred Dern, 
also of Salt Lake. 

That old horse Dick was no friend of mine. After Miss 
Welch recovered and I had started taking Mildred riding at 

8 General Dean's Story 

Fort Douglas, he ran away with her too. But she clung to his 
back and ducked her head as he tried to brush her off on a 
stable door. Mildred married me, in spite of him; and the 
sale of two polo ponies helped to finance the wedding. 

Immediately after we were married we were transferred 
to the Panama Canal Zone, for three more years of duty with 
troops. In both posts I coached boxing and basketball teams 
but never was a serious competitor myself even though I 
seem to have a minor reputation as a boxer now, the result 
of a Communist photograph showing me shadow-boxing while 
in captivity. 

The rest of my prewar duty was just average. I was a lieu- 
tenant for twelve years. At Fort Douglas I served with troops, 
then attended the Fort Benning Infantry School in 193 1, serv- 
ing with a tank battalion there and going on to a second 
course, at the Tank School. I returned to the Pacific Coast in 
1932, with technical assignment to the 30th Infantry Regi- 
ment. But my actual duty was with the Civilian Conservation 
Corps, first as commander of Camp Hackamore, in Modoc 
County, California, while the corps built trails and roads, then 
in the CCC headquarters at Redding. 

Back on more normal duty, I went to the Command and 
General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, then spent two 
more years with troops in Oahu, T.H. After that there were 
more schools: the Armed Forces Industrial College in Wash- 
ington; the Field Officers course at the Chemical Warfare 
School; the Army War College. 

I was lucky to make captain in 1936, and major in 1940, 
when I was assigned to a series of desk jobs in Washington- 
first on the War Department's General Staff as a junior mem- 
ber, then assistant secretary of it, finally executive officer of 
the Requirements Division in Ground Forces headquarters. 

A War Begins 9 

My temporary rank went up to lieutenant colonel in 1941, to 
colonel in 1942. In 1943 I became head of the Requirements 
Division, which is concerned with new weapons, electronics, 
training literature, and visual aids. 

I finally got what I wanted another job with troops, this 
time as assistant commander of the 44th Infantry Division, 
just preparing to go to Europe in late 1943 but I nearly 
missed my second war. During a demonstration of flame- 
throwers to division officers, the flame-thrower leaked on the 
lieutenant operating it. In agony as the napalm set his clothing 
afire, he struggled to rid himself of the weapon but instead 
flipped the hose, spraying napalm. Another officer and I, both 
rushing toward him, caught the slash of fire; but I was the 
lucky one. Both the other men died. I didn't even know my 
leg had been burned until I started to walk off after the others 
had been taken away in an ambulance. Then someone noticed 
that my trouser leg was in tatters below the knee. I too went 
to the hospital, but doctors saved my leg. I was still on 
crutches when the division sailed, but I sailed with it. 

We landed in France on Omaha Beach behind the amphib- 
ious assault forces, and for the next several months moved 
generally east and south across France, Germany, and Austria. 
When Major General Robert L. Spragins was invalided home 
in December 1944, I took command of the division a fine 
fighting group that had been trained and indoctrinated by 
Major General James L Muir and brought to peak battle 
efficiency by General Spragins. I've always been proud of the 
44th, which did fine jobs at Sarrebourg, Sarreguemines, Mann- 
heim, and in front of Heidelberg, where one of the most out- 
standing artillerymen I've ever known, then Brigadier Gen- 
eral William A. Beiderlinden, used mass time-on-target fire 
and a couple of other tricks to convince a whole sector of 

io General Dean's Story 

Germans that surrender was the only course for reasonable 
men and thereby avoided having to damage the city's famous 
old buildings. The division went on to fight at Goppingen, 

Ulm, Alemmingen, Kempten, Fern Pass, and Resia Pass. When 
the war ended we were In the Inn Valley, with our head- 
quarters at Innsbruck and had lost only forty-two men by 
capture during the entire war. That minor detail especially 
pleased me. I've always thought that to say Kamerad was one 
of the most degrading things that could happen to a soldier. 

The 44th Division came home shortly after V-E Day and 
was retraining to go to the Pacific when the Japanese surren- 
dered. I left the division command almost Immediately, going 
to Leavenworth again, this time to organize and direct new 
command classes. 

In October 1 947 I was sent to South Korea as military gov- 
ernor and deputy to Lieutenant General John R. Hodge, then 
commanding the American occupation forces. With head- 
quarters at Seoul, I had the duty of making the South Korean 
civil government work during the final period before it was 
turned over to the Koreans and military occupation ended. 
I had over-all command of such activities as police work, 
rice collection to make sure that the hungry population had 
enough to eat, operation of railroads and telegraphs. The 
Korean constabulary was also under my command. Most of 
these activities were manned by Americans in executive posi- 
tions, with Koreans sitting beside them to study their methods, 
and also filling most of the jobs on lower levels, without 
American opposite numbers. 

This was a transition period for the Koreans. Under the 
Japanese, Koreans never had been allowed to hold executive 
positions or even jobs Involving much responsibility. For ex- 
ample, Koreans could be railroad firemen or station agents, 

A War Begins 1 1 

but not locomotive engineers. In government, they never had 
held policy-making positions. The result was that no trained 
cadre existed, once the Japanese had been ousted. So U. S. 
occupation forces, in contrast to the situation in Germany 
and Japan, not only had to change the methods and philoso- 
phy of the previous government but also had to train Korean 
personnel for almost every job. The whole business was com- 
plicated further by the artificial division of the country on 
the 38th parallel, with disruption of the entire economy, 
blocking of railroads, and division of families between demo- 
cratic and Communist regimes. 

We also had the job of setting the new Korean govern- 
ment-to-be on its feet. Having had no government of their 
own for generations and never a free election in four thou- 
sand years of their history, the Koreans were completely 
lacking in machinery and training for holding an election. 
During the troubled months preceding the election in 1948, 
I traveled the American-occupied part of the peninsula many 
times, making speeches for our rice collection and other pro- 
grams, setting up election boards, even arranging for polling 
places and protection of voters from coercion and Communist 

After the elections the newly chosen Korean officials took 
over their own government, on August 15, 1948. The occu- 
pation ended officially, and my civil job with it. I became 
commander of the yth Infantry Division, with headquarters 
at Seoul still, but immediately began arranging the withdrawal 
of that division to stations in northern Japan. We completed 
that movement in January 1949; and my headquarters became 
the city of Sapporo, on Hokkaido island. But in May, Lieu- 
tenant General Walton Walker called me to Yokohama as 
chief of staff for the Eighth Army. In October, when a sud- 

1 2 General Dean's Story 

den transfer left the 24th Infantry Division without a com- 
mander, I managed to talk myself Into the job, and moved 
once more, to Kokura, on Kyushu, the most southerly Jap- 
anese Island. 

Kokura is only one hundred and forty miles from Pusan, 
the nearest point on the Korean peninsula, and faces the 
Korea Strait, across which Korean and Japanese fleets, armies, 
and fishing boats have warred for thousands of years. If you 
like history, this was the strait In which a divine wind the 
kamikaze arose to turn back a Korean fleet trying to invade 
ancient Japan, thus reinforcing the Japanese in their belief 
that the island peoples were invincible. It also provided both 
a rough precedent and a name for the Japanese pilots who 
flew their aircraft into American ships during the last days of 
World War II. 

At Kokura, on June 24, 1950, the officers of the 24th Divi- 
sion headquarters staged a costume party. I am slightly more 
than six feet tall, and that summer I weighed two hundred 
and ten pounds. The black stovepipe hat of a Korean gentle- 
man sat foolishly high on my head, and the long robes proper 
to a yong-bon (one of the people who do not work) flopped 
somewhere around my knees. My wife came dressed as a 
well-born Korean lady, and our double costume was a con- 
siderable success. 

As a troop commander, I believe in hard work for officers 
and men; and it was quite obvious on this evening that the 
officers I had been working hard for several months enjoyed 
seeing the division commander looking thoroughly ridiculous. 
At the same time, the costume was a not-so-nostalgic gesture 
toward the short Korean chapter in my life. It had been inter- 
esting and troubling but was definitely over. I had no real 

A War Begins 13 

reason to expect to go to Korea again. I knew only a few 
words of the language. I never had found an opportunity to 
know Korean people outside of official circles and the major 
cities and I certainly was not lonesome for the variable cli- 
mate of that appendix of northeastern Asia. 

So I wore the costume of a yang-ban but thought about 
Korea only briefly, if at all, during the long evening*. It was an 
uneventful party, just one more officers' dance like thousands 
of others; and the main thing I remember was that the hard 
hat became highly uncomfortable before the evening ended. 

The next morning, when I went to the division headquar- 
ters building after attending church, the only thing on my 
mind was the possibility of mail from my daughter June, then 
en route to Puerto Rico with her husband, Captain Robert 
Williams, or from my son Bill, who was taking examinations 
for entrance to the Military Academy at West Point. But as 
I headed toward the post office a duty officer hailed me. North 
Koreans, he said, had just crossed the 38th parallel, breaking 
the uneasy peace of the border between communism and the 
newest of the U. S.-sponsored free governments in Asia. 

There was no further information. I went back to our 
quarters and told Mildred the news, adding my own predic- 
tion: this was the beginning of World War III. I could see 
war breaking out like wildfire over much of Asia and the 
24th Infantry Division undoubtedly sat right in the middle 
of it. 

Naturally my concern at the moment was principally for 
the division. The 24th had a long and creditable history in 
World War II and had been in Japan since shortly after V-J 
Day. But the battle-trained veterans of the early occupation 
days had been whittled down by time and reassignment until 
they made up only about fifteen per cent of the men and 

14 General Dean's Story 

officers now on duty. The division strength was down to 
about two-thirds of its wartime total. Infantry regiments had 
only two battalions each; artillery battalions only two bat- 
teries. Other units were proportionate. Equipment was all of 
World War II vintage 2.6 bazookas and light (M-24) tanks. 

We were training, but our program was greatly hampered 
by the fact that the division was scattered all over southern 
Japan. The i9th Infantry Regiment, based at Beppu, just then 
was on an amphibious maneuver near Yokohama. The zist 
Infantry Regiment was at Kumamoto, the 34th at Sasebo, and 
the artillery near Fukuoka. The tank company, the recon- 
naissance company, and a company of engineers were at Ya- 
maguchi on Honshu; the signal company, other engineers, 
and quartermaster and ordnance units were with the head- 
quarters at Kokura. I found a light airplane essential to visit 
them all. To get them together in a hurry would be a major 

Not that it was necessary at this time. On June 26 we had 
new information from Korea: the South Korean Army was 
counterattacking and the situation looked much better than 
it had the day before. Perhaps this would turn out to be only 
a slightly larger version of the many border incidents that 
had occurred since the 38th parallel had been established as 
a dividing line across Korea. 

We had several South Korean officers on a tour of duty 
with our division, and I began to worry about them. But 
when I sent a message to Tokyo, asking whether we should 
get them back to Korea right away, I was told, "No, Have 
them finish their courses, and prepare to receive another group 
in July." 

This was going to be a short and easy war. 

But by the next day it looked less easy. We received word 

A War Begins 1 5 

to prepare to meet evacuees from Korea, a job assigned to 
the 24th Division in a long-standing plan for action in case 
of any major emergency in Korea. In my experience, few of 
these long-standing plans ever work out as plotted on paper, 
but this one did. 

American women and children in the Seoul area were 
loaded aboard a Norwegian freighter at Inchon, and it started 
around the rip of the peninsula. But the Communist advance 
to the south was so fast that the men left behind had to be 
evacuated almost before the ship was out of the harbor. Many 
of them arrived by plane well before the crowded ship 
docked, about noon on June 28. 

Incidentally, that ship gave me my first real fright of the 
war. I went down to the dock to meet it, but it failed to arrive 
on schedule and we weren't able to find out anything about 
it. When it was more than eight hours overdue I thought, 
"Oh-oh, a Russian submarine has hit it." It was one of those 
hazy days when a ship could not be seen from the air, and the 
Japanese Coast Guard at Fukuoka refused to send out a search 
vessel; so I asked the U. S. naval base at Sasebo if a destroyer 
could be sent out to look. We finally put an American officer 
aboard the Japanese Coast Guard ship, and he got them to go 
past the harbor entrance. Outside in the fog he found the 
Norwegian ship hove to, with a skipper thoroughly upset by 
orders which forced him to wait outside Fukuoka rather than 
to go in to Moji, where he would not have needed a pilot. 
The passengers jamming the ship had too little room in state- 
rooms or on deck, and almost all of them were immoderately 
seasick. It was no tragedy, but just one more confusion in a 
confused week. 

Personally, I was especially disturbed when the incoming 
airplanes brought not only civilian refugees, missionaries, and 

1 6 General Dean's Story 

military families, but also quite a number of U. S. officers and 
men from the Korean Military Advisory Group (KMAG). 
I found out later that a general order issued by the U. S. Em- 
bassy in Seoul for evacuation of Americans had somehow 
been so confused that these Army people thought they were 
included. Brigadier General Lynn Roberts, commanding 
KMAG, had completed his tour of duty and sailed for the 
United States on June 24; and the KMAG chief of staff was 
in Japan to see his own wife off to the States. So there was 
no one to correct the confusion before many of these people 
reached Japan. 

The 24th Infantry Division did a fine job in the reception 
of evacuees. Officers and men worked around the clock to 
care for the distraught families, who arrived with nothing but 
a few meager belongings, and to get them started toward 
other points in Japan. We still had no knowledge that this 
job would have to be rushed, but rushed it anyhow. 

That was just the start. On the evening of June 30 I re- 
ceived orders to go to Tokyo for a conference and started by 
sedan from Kokura to the airfield at Itazuki but I never ar- 
rived. Outside of Hakata an officer intercepted me with new 
instructions: I was to return to my headquarters and await 
teletyped orders. 

They came at midnight. I was to go to Korea, with two 
jobs: my usual division command, plus the over-all command 
of a land expeditionary force. 




I have run through all of this at the risk of boring readers, 
because it all made some sense in relation to the first days of 
war in Korea. I knew quite a bit although not as much as I 
thought about the Korean people and geography; and my 
division was the closest American battle unit when the fight- 
ing started. 

My orders specified that a task force of two reinforced 
rifle companies, with a battery of field artillery, -was to be 
flown to Korea immediately and to report to Brigadier Gen- 
eral John H. Church, who had flown from Tokyo to Taejon, 
in the middle of South Korea, with a headquarters detach- 
ment. Taejon was well south of the battle line and an obvious 
choice for a defensive headquarters. The entire 2 4th Infantry 
Division was to move to Korea by surface transportation as 
rapidly as possible. 

Lieutenant Colonel Charles B. (Brad) Smith was picked to 
command the task force. No commander likes to commit 
troops piecemeal, and I'm no exception, but Smith was defi- 
nitely the man for the job if it had to be done. He had a fine 
World War II record in the South Pacific and was a natural 
leader. So he and his 406 riflemen, plus a few artillerymen, 
were on their way to a landing field outside Pusan on July i . 
From there, they could move by train to the front lines, then 


1 8 General Dean's Story 

somewhere between Seoul and Suwon the exact location de- 
pending on which Republic of Korea (ROK) Army intelli- 
gence report you believed. Meanwhile I tried to move a divi- 
sion, scattered near half a dozen ports, with no ships ready. 
It was an interesting assignment. 

I myself started for Korea one day after Task Force Smith. 
My original effort was made in a 0-54, a large four-motored 
aircraft, so I took along a jeep as well as various members of 
the division staff and my aide. We got over the airfield at 
Pusan without trouble, but there were stalled by a report that 
the mud field had been so cut up by the big planes carrying 
in Task Force Smith that no more large aircraft could land. 
So we flew back to Japan, changed to a -45 (a much smaller 
plane), left the jeep and other equipment behind, and made a 
second try. This time we landed successfully and took off 
again, after a brief stop, for Taejon, where I would take over 
the command. It was nearly dark, but I had been over this 
area several times in 1948 and 1949, In a cub plane, and was 
sure I could recognize Taejon from the air. But when I 
pointed out a field to the pilot he only shook his head. If it 
was Taejon, the field had shrunk and no longer was big 
enough for a -45. 

At any rate, it was now dark and there was no lighted field 
in this part of Korea. We had to fly two hundred and fifty 
miles back to Itazuki in Japan. By the time we had something 
to eat, we could get only about three hours sleep, then took 
off once more, shortly after dawn, for Korea. 

This time fog was covering that whole part of the peninsula, 
and we could not even see Taejon. But I was desperate, so we 
finally flew out over the Yellow Sea, bored down through the 
fog bank, then came back east, following the Kum River line 
and dodging mountains under the high fog, and eventually 

Men Against Tanks 19 

landed. I never thought I'd have so much trouble in getting to 
a war. But one thing was definite: I didn't need my yang-ban 
hat, then or later in Korea. 

My first day in Taejon, July 3, I tried to get a picture of 
what was happening, and it was fairly obvious. The principal 
attack was on the main road and railroad lines, which roughly 
parallel each other through Suwon, Osan, Chonan, Taejon, 
Kumchon, Taegu, and Pusan. This was the historic military 
route through Korea, followed in dozens of forgotten wars, 
re-emphasized by the Japanese in their invasions, and now 
being used in reverse by the North Koreans. 

To the east of this route mountains prevented easy troop 
movements, so there was no other great danger point except 
on the extreme eastern coast. The Yellow Sea protected us to 
the west as far south as Pyongtaek; but below that the left 
flank would also have to be guarded. 

South Korean civilians were thronging this road south from 
Suwon; and unfortunately thousands and thousands of na- 
tional police officers and some military also were marching 
south, apparently making no effort to stand and fight. What 
might be happening in the mountains to the east was any- 
body's guess, although South Korean Army headquarters, 
now beside our own in Taejon, repeatedly stated that their 
Army was fighting hard there, and occasionally brought in a 
captured armored vehicle or some other such token to prove 
their claims. But they did not seem to be able to produce any 
prisoners of war for interrogation. 

Our own force obviously was too small to maintain ade- 
quate communications over such a large area, so we had to 
depend on South Korean civil telephones and telegraph for 
wire communications, and on radio to get our messages 
through to front-line troop units. General Church explained 

20 General Dean's Story 

that he had ordered Task Force Smith to take up two positions 
approximately one company at a road crossing at Ansong, 
another at Pyongtaek on the main highway. Theoretically 
these two positions blocked the two roads down which the 
enemy was most likely to come but one company per road 
is not exactly a strong block, especially with South Koreans 
pouring past them by the thousands. All these Korean police 
and soldiers had their rifles and equipment, so it's no wonder 
that the sight of them was disconcerting to our own troops 
who had been ordered to make a stand. 

I approved General Church's plans and asked him to set up 
the organization for an expeditionary force headquarters, 
then flew back to Pusan. The 34th Infantry Regiment had 
been arriving there on ships that day and was entraining for 
Taejon. We slept that night on the floor of a Pusan building 
that had more bedbugs in it than any other structure I've seen, 
before or since. 

At this time my own organization was still scattered. G-z 
(Intelligence) was at Taejon. The 6-3 (Operations) section 
was operating from Pusan, but G-i (Personnel) and 6-4 
(Supply) were still in Japan. The 34th was on the way north, 
but other infantry units and all support organizations were 
still at sea or in Japan. 

On the afternoon of July 4 I flew back to Taejon. Still no 
American ground forces had been in action against the enemy; 
but there could be no doubt that it was coming soon. The 
positions Task Force Smith had reconnoitered in the vicinity 
of Osan (north of Pyongtaek) appeared to have such strength 
that I ordered the whole task force up there, to form one 
solid lump of Americans, which might help to stem the back- 
ward march of all these South Koreans. The ROK headquar- 
ters, now operating under its third chief of staff since the war 

Men Against Tanks 2 1 

had started less than two weeks before, was torn by internal 
strife, with everyone shouting "Communist" at one another, 
and everyone apparently quite willing for me to make all 
decisions, especially theirs. 

I tried to encourage some sort of ROK stand, but most of 
my efforts were lost in a fog of excuses for the backward 
march. They were short of artillery, they had nothing to stop 
the enemy tanks, they had been outflanked there was always 
some good reason. 

I don't think they ever did try the suggestion of their second 
chief of staff, Lee Bum Suk, that they let the enemy tanks 
come through, dig ditches behind them, and thus prevent 
them from getting back or getting gas. At this time many of 
the North Korean tanks were coming through alone, without 
infantry support, and the trick just might have worked. 

At any rate, I got my first strong contingent of American 
troops when the 34th Regiment arrived in the fighting area 
late on July 4. I ordered this regiment to reoccupy the posi- 
tions Task Force Smith had left, blocking one road at Ansong 
and the main highway at Pyongtaek, where an arm of the sea 
comes up almost to the highway, forming a natural defense 
on the left. The north-south mountain range approaches 
Ansong on the right, so these positions presented a minimum 
of flanking problems and Task Force Smith still was out in 
front, to blunt any enemy attack along the main road before 
it even touched this line. 

The morning of July 5 the attack came. The only word I 
received from the 34th was that there was fighting at Osan 
then that we were out of contact with Task Force Smith. At 
this time our communications were not reliable. My aide, 
Lieutenant Arthur M. Clarke, and I drove through a blackout 
up to Pyongtaek, where I met Brigadier General George 

2 2 General Dean's Story 

Earth, who had been loaned to me from the 25th Infantry 
Division as an extra general officer. General Barth said that 
he had been at Osan; but that just after he left, tanks had been 
reported corning down the road. After that there was no fur- 
ther contact with Smith. Worse, a patrol from a battalion at 
Pyongtaek had just moved forward and run into North 
Koreans, losing one man. This indicated that the Communists 
had somehow by-passed Osan and that their forward elements 
were nearly to Pyongtaek. While I was there the battalion 
was planning to send out a heavier patrol, in a new attempt to 
reach Task Force Smith, but there was no report by one 
o'clock in the morning of July 6 when we left to drive back 
to headquarters at Taejon. 

We arrived just about dawn and I had an hour's sleep. Then 
my headquarters was filled with Korean politicians, each with 
a different suggestion. I also received a disturbing report that 
President Syngman Rhee, now at Pusan, was anxious to come 
back north to Taejon which would put him in personal dan- 
ger and further complicate the military problems. 

Then I received one encouraging bit of information: Task 
Force Smith, which we had about given up as overrun and 
lost, was coining back to Pyongtaek. They brought out the 
trucks and about half of the force, but had to leave the artil- 
lery pieces after pulling the breech locks and sights so that 
the guns would be useless. Both Smith and Colonel Basil EL 
Perry, the artillery commander, were with the party which 
fought its way through the Communists behind them. For the 
next two or three days men kept dribbling in, singly or in 
small groups, so that our eventual losses were much less than 
I'd feared. 

A couple of the early arrivals from the task force also 
brought me the first direct word about enemy tankshow 

Men Against Tanks 2 3 

' forty of them had come down the road, rolling right up to 
what the Americans had thought were good emplacements, 
and then firing point-blank into them. The fact that they had 
been able to see our emplacements didn't surprise me (Ameri- 
can soldiers are anything but masters at camouflage), but the 
number of tanks did. Up to this time I'd been inclined to dis- 
count the numbers reported by the South Koreans, but this 
was reliable information. The soldiers also told me how the 
infantry had managed to get four tanks, and how the artillery 
had knocked out four others, firing in direct lane. 

All in all, it was not a discouraging story. It had been the 
first American action, we had lost it, but the enemy had paid 
a considerable price. I felt betterfor all of a couple of hours. 

Then I received astonishing information: the 34th had 
pulled back south of Chonanmore than fifteen miles from 
the river defense line with its flank on the sea. Units that 
had been at Ansong were now a full twenty miles from where 
I had left them without even waiting until the enemy hit them. 

I learned this at four o'clock in the afternoon of July 6, and 
I jumped in my jeep and rushed up toward Chonan to find 
out what was wrong, why they had not held on the river. But 
by the time I got there the whole regiment was south of 
Chonan, most of the men having ridden back on the trucks. 
I should have said, "Turn around and get going now"; but 
rather than add to the confusion and risk night ambushes, I 
told them, "All right, hold tight here until I give you further 

When I reached my own headquarters once more I issued 
such orders: to advance until they made contact with the 
enemy, then fight a delaying action. 

There is no point now in rehashing past mistakes endlessly. 

24 General Dean's Story 

I have always believed that when there Is a confusion in orders, 
the person issuing those orders is at fault for not making 
himself entirely clear; so the fault in this affair was mine. But 
whatever the fault, the results were tragic. Chonan is a road 
intersection from which good routes lead to the west as well as 
to the south. Once we had lost Pyongtaek, we had opened up 
our whole left flank, defended only by some dubious forces 
known as the Northwest Youth Group five hundred or a 
thousand dissident, non-Communist North Koreans who had 
been armed by the South Korean government but were not 
part of the regular Army. Other people had considerable 
confidence in them, but I did not share itand the fact is, 
North Koreans harried our flank on that side from then on. 
There is no doubt that those Northwest Youths were blood- 
thirsty people who hated the Communists, but they did us 
very little good. 

On the afternoon of July 7 I gave command of the 34th 
Regiment to Colonel Robert B. Martin. Bob Martin and I had 
served together in Europe in the 44th Division, and I'd ob- 
served his methods of commanding a regiment in combat. As 
soon as I had received my orders to go to Korea, I had asked 
Far Eastern headquarters for Martin by name. I knew Bob 
would want to get into the fighting, and Tokyo agreed to free 
him from his staff assignment. 

When Martin took over the regimental command at three 
p.m. on July 7 I breathed easier once more. It's unfair to 
expect other people to read your mind, but I knew very 
clearly what I wanted, and that Martin was one man who 
could read my thoughts even before I said them out loud. He 
was also my very good friend. 

In the meantime the 34th, following my orders, had moved 
north once more, setting up defense positions in and slightly 

Men Against Tanks 25 

north of Chonan. But that night at ten o'clock, another mes- 
sage came through from the regiment: the situation in Chonan 
was bad, Colonel Martin had gone up from his command post 
south of the city to straighten It out and now he was cut off. 
There were no communications with the one battalion still 
holding the town. 

I got very little sleep that night, but about four o'clock on 
the morning of the 8th we received word that the situation In 
Chonan had Improved and Colonel Martin was back at his 
command post. 

That morning Lieutenant General Walker flew in from 
Japan and told me that the whole Eighth Armyincluding 
Walker himself was coming to Korea. So I no longer would 
have to wear the double hat of division command and force 
command. Together we rode up toward Chonan to see what 
was going on. At the 34th's command post, south of the city, 
we were told that there was more trouble in Chonan and 
Martin had gone up again. Once more they were out of con- 
tact with their own front lines. 

General Walker and I pulled on north, to the top of the 
last rise south of Chonan, with the town about six hundred 
yards ahead of us, out in an open valley. From there we 
watched our forces being driven out. 

A sweating officer coming from Chonan told us that North 
Korean tanks were In the town, although we could not see 
them. He said Colonel Martin had grabbed a 2.6 bazooka and 
was leading his men with it, actually forcing the tanks to turn 
and run, when one tank came around a corner unexpectedly 
and fired from less than twenty-five feet. The shot blew 
Colonel Martin In half. Thereafter resistance had disintegrated 
and now our troops were bugging out. 

Now a new decision faced me. The highway below Chonan 

2 6 General Dean's Story 

divides: one part follows the railroad to Chochiwon and the 
Kum River; the other goes straight south to Kongju, then 
angles eastward to rejoin the other highway at Yusong, just 
outside of Taejon. Both routes had to be defended. I ordered 
the 34th to back down the Kongju road and the newly arrived 
2ist Regiment to fight a delaying action on the route to 
Chochiwon. We were fighting for time. The ipth Regiment, 
which had come all the way from Honshu, was just getting 
into a reserve position. I already had ordered the tanks at- 
tached to it to come up on the line, and they came up while 
General Walker and I were watching the Chonan evacuation. 
These were the same little light tanks the rest of the division 

As the commander of the first platoon came up the hill, 
General Walker stopped him and asked, "What are you going 
to do down there?" 

The lieutenant said, "I'm going to slug it out." You could 
see that the boy was certain he was on his way to death. He'd 
heard what happened to other M-24 tanks against those heavy 
Russian-built tanks, but he had his teeth clenched and was 
going in. 

But General Walker said, "Now, our idea is to stop those 
people. We don't go up there and charge or slug it out. We 
take positions where we have the advantage, where we can 
fire the first shots and still manage a delaying action." 

Right there on the battlefield he gave this man as fine a 
lecture in tank tactics as you could hear in any military class- 

We were still losing a war, but the delaying tactics did be- 
gin to delay a little. We weren't blowing as many bridges 
behind us as I would have likedleaving them intact is a very 
brave thing to do when you're planning on a counterattack 

Men Against Tanks 27 

along the same route, but when the enemy is pushing you all 
the time it's an expensive form of courage but otherwise the 
retreat was being fought rather well. 

The list Infantry, under Colonel Richard Stevens"! 
Six" to his "Gimlets" did a magnificent job at Chochiwon. 
With its forward elements overrun by the enemy, the 2ist 
counterattacked, regained the lost ground, and in so doing 
revealed the savagery of our enemy: they found the bodies 
of six soldiers with hands tied behind their backs and holes 
through the backs of their heads. 

During this period Dick Stevens too gave me some anxious 
moments when for several hours he was well forward of his 
command post and cut off. Only after the 34th Infantry was 
forced across the Kum River at Kongju, exposing the left 
flank of the zist, did that regiment withdraw in good order 
to Okchon in the hills east of Taejon. 

On their way back they passed through the ipth Infantry, 
the "Rock of Chickamauga" Regiment, which had taken up 
positions along the Kum at Taepyong-ni on June 13. This 
regiment put up a determined fight along the Kum. They were 
almost completely enveloped and the regimental command 
post surrounded before the "Chicks" withdrew to Yongdong 
to reorganize. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for this 
regiment, with which I served as a captain in Hawaii in 1936- 
38. In the battles around Taejon, under the inspired and gal- 
lant leadership of Colonel Guy S. (Stan) Meloy, the Chicks 
did a lot of killing and made the enemy pay full price for the 
ground won. Colonel Meloy, badly wounded, came out on a 
tank late at night, just as I thought I had lost him. 

The 34th held on the Kum at Kongju until North Koreans 
swung around the exposed left flank and attacked the 63rd 

28 General Dean's Story 

Field Artillery Battalion on its flank and rear. This forced the 

34th to fight a delaying action, facing northwest, just east of 


Now our front was narrowing again, and only the 34th was 
still in contact with the enemy. I sent a battalion of the 1 9th 
up to give them some added strength, and ordered the units 
in contact to try to hold along the curve of a Kum River 
tributary north and west of Taejon. 

Various officers of the 25th Division already had been up 
to look over the front, and I knew that division would come 
to help us just as soon as they had secured a vital airfield on 
the east coast. The ist Cavalry also was on the way. So I 
moved my own divisional command post east to Yongdong 
but stayed behind in Taejon myself, working out of the 34th 
regimental command post, located in a schoolroom. I had 
ordered the 34th to leave the river perimeter on the night of 
July 17 but countermanded those orders and decided to try 
to hang on to that river line. 

My reasons for staying in the town were simple, although 
of course there can be much argument about them. (I spent a 
great deal of time later trying to second-guess myself about 
them.) But these reasons were compounded of poor commu- 
nications, which had cost me one valuable position up at 
Pyongtaek, and the old feeling that I could do the job better 
that is, make the hour-to-hour decisions necessary if I 
stayed in close contact with what was happening. My staff 
was quite capable of operating the headquarters at Yongdong, 
under the direction of Brigadier General Pearson Menoher; 
and frankly, it was easier to get a message through toward the 
rear (or so it seemed) than toward the front. 

None of which changes certain facts: I was forward of my 
own headquarters on the night of July 19; the situation was 

Men Against Tanks 29 

so confused that I could not even be certain we still held a 
solid line northwest of the city; and very few important com- 
mand decisions were made at that time. Very few of the 
things I did in the next twenty-four hours could not have been 
done by any competent sergeant and such a sergeant would 
have done some of them better. I have no intention of alibiing 
my presence in Taejon. At the time I thought it was the place 
to be. Three and a half years later I still do not know any 
other place I could have been to accomplish any more. The 
accomplishments, I think, would have been virtually zero in 
any case. 

On the night of July 19 I went to sleep to the sound of 
gunfire; and in the morning more gunfire knit a ragged and 
shrinking border around the city. I am no longer a young 
man, and so I awoke very early, although I had been short of 
sleep for almost a month. I heard the sound of the sporadic 
firing and inhaled the odors which no one ever escapes in 
Korea, of rice-paddy muck and mud walls, fertilizer and filth, 
and, mixed with them now, the acrid after-odor of cordite 
from the artillery, indefinable odors of thatch-roofed houses 
slowly burning. 

There no longer was any great doubt: my forlorn hope 
that the 34th could hold the line long enough for more help to 
arrive was growing more forlorn by the minute. Spiteful 
rifles of infiltrators and turncoats spat from windows at the 
streaming refugees. The doom of Taejon was evident to them, 
to the lost and weary soldiers straggling through the town 
(the same soldiers who less than a month before had been fat 
and happy in occupation billets, complete with Japanese girl 
friends, plenty of beer, and servants to shine their boots), and 
to me. 

Perhaps there is a certain somber poetry to any battle, and 

30 General Dean's Story 

the phrase, fight and fall back, has a brave sound. But a retreat- 
ing army is no place to appreciate poetry; and for the people 
doing it day after day, fighting and falling back is a sorry 
business. Our first twenty days in Korea had been bone- 
wearying and bloody for the soldiers and frustrating for me 
(as such a battle must be for any commander who must tell 
soldiers when to fall back, when to turn and fight again) . Any 
infantry officer must at times be ruthless. Part of the job is to 
send men into places from which you know they are not likely 
to come out again. This is never easy, but it's an especially 
soul-searing business when the only thing you can buy with 
other men's lives is a little more time. Sometimes I wonder 
now, when so many people are so friendly and kind to me, 
whether they realize that they are being land to a man who 
has issued such orders in two wars, and to many, many men. 

But these are thoughts which come after a battle, not during 
it. On that morning in Taejon I remember especially the hour 
of six-thirty. It was then that Lieutenant Clarke, whom I had 
as an aide partially because he was an aircraft pilot but who 
had been doing exactly no flying whatever since we hit Korea, 
relayed a report that North Korean tanks had been seen in 
Taejon itself, although the battle line was still presumed to be 
well north and west. 

This was the sort of report with which the whole division 
was thoroughly familiar by this time and of which every 
man in it was deathly sick. There was only one difference be- 
tween this report and many previous ones like it this time 
there were no immediate decisions to be made, for the mo- 
ment no general officer's work to be done. So we decided to 
go tank hunting Clarke, Jimmy Kim, my Korean interpreter, 
and I. We couldn't do anything at the moment about the fact 
that the 34th's headquarters had lost contact with two of its 

Men Against Tanks 3 1 

leading battalions and did not know where its flanks were, or 
about the war in general. But perhaps we could do something 
about a couple of tanks. 

We found them easily enough. Two T-34S had come into 
an intersection where the east-west road through the city 
meets the road from the airfield but they wouldn't be going 
away again. Both were dead in the street. Behind them, one 
of our own ammunition carriers was burning, with much 
phosphorus smoke. A third tank was in a field near some hous- 
ing built for dependents of American soldiers during the Ko- 
rean occupation. This one appeared to be undamaged. As we 
approached it we received one round of high explosive, 
although we could not be sure of the source. 

A three-quarter-ton truck mounting a 75-millimeter recoil- 
less rifle was just backing toward the two dead tanks at the 
intersection, but I succeeded in getting the driver's attention 
and redirected him to back toward the tank in the field. But 
even though we reached a firing position we accomplished 
nothing. The gunner either was too nervous or was unfamiliar 
with his weapon, and none of the four or five rounds of his 
remaining ammunition scored a hit. The truck then pulled 
away, but the tank in the field still didn't move. We discov- 
ered later in the day that it already had been put out of action, 
although it showed no signs of damage. 

This whole incident was only a repetition of an old story: 
we had nothing with which to fight this or any other tank. 
Lieutenant Clarke wrote an independent report of this day's 
activities and in it said that we returned to the regimental com- 
mand post and ate breakfast. But I must confess I remember 
very little about the meal, although shortly food was to mean 
more to me than it ever had meant before in my life. 

I do remember that after a time we went tank-hunting once 

32 General Dean's Story 

more, and this time located both a weapon and two more 
enemy tanks. The weapon was a bazooka, for which the sol- 
dier carrying it had just one remaining round of ammunition. 
The two tanks were on the same street as the two dead tanks, 
and behind the ammunition carrier, which still was burning. 
Our first attempt to get close to them ended abruptly when 
we began to receive machine-gun fire just over our heads, 
apparently coming from the turrets. We scuttled out of the 
line of fire and came up again from behind the buildings along 
the side of the street. This time smoke from the burning 
trailer and the protection of ruined buildings enabled us to get 
within ten or fifteen yards of the street, well behind the tanks. 
Just as we did, one of the live tanks managed to turn around in 
the narrow street and started back the way it had come into 
the town, and the other followed. 

This was our day for bad shooting. The bazooka man too 
was nervous. His one round was fired at a range of a hundred 
yards but fell far short. The last tank rumbled right up to us 
and on past, within twenty yards. 

There was nothing we could do to stop it. Some people who 
escaped from Taejon that day reported that they last had seen 
me firing a pistol at a tank. Well, they did, but I'm not proud 
of it. As that last tank passed I banged away at it with a .45; 
but even then I wasn't silly enough to think I could do any- 
thing with a pistol. It was plain rage and frustration just 
Dean losing his temper. 

After that display of disgust, all I could do was to have 
Clarke take a few measurements of treads and armor thickness 
on the dead tanks, then return to the regimental command 
post and call for an air strike on the fleeing enemy armor, if 
the planes could find it. Our withdrawal from the battle of 
pistol against tank was punctuated by white phosphorus shells 

Men Against Tanks 3 3 

exploding from the burning carrier and falling much too close 
for comfort. 

But we still weren't through with tanks. Very shortly a lone 
tank, without infantry support, calmly rumbled through the 
town, coming from the direction of Kumsan directly south of 
us, and going up toward the front lines to the north and west. 
It passed between our command post and the artillery area, not 
firing on either one and not being fired upon, waddled all the 
way up to the front line, then calmly waddled back again, still 
not firing. In passing the command post a second time, that 
tanker certainly must have seen more Americans milling 
around than he'd ever seen before, but he just kept going. 

The only deduction we could make was that this tank must 
have come all the way around our left flank, leaving road- 
blocks of infantry as he came. I think he then went up to the 
battle line to report to his people, "Well, I've got these boys 
hooked from the rear now. Come on and make your attack." 

In the days before July 20 I was getting intelligence reports 
from Korean Army sources and some of my own Korean 
agents. My private agents had said days earlier that the Com- 
munists would not attempt a direct attack on Taejon but 
would move around it to the west and south. It was also re- 
ported that civilians in captured areas had been ordered to 
make thousands of suits of typical Korean white clothing, in 
which North Korean soldiers would infiltrate our lines at 
Taejon itself. Then these, plus the turncoats already in the 
town, would capture it without a frontal assault. 

I discounted this information in preparing for the Taejon 
defenses; but there is no denying such thousands of infiltrators 
did come into town and confuse the situation. Whether the 
final North Korean decision to make a frontal attack was 
based on the failure of these infiltrators to drive us out 

34 General Dean's Story 

entirely, or on such Information as this lone tank could have 

provided, is anybody's guess. 

At any rate, we decided to chase this tank with a headquar- 
ters group, in spite of our previous failures. Clarke, Captain 
Richard Rowlands, a division liaison officer, a ROK ordnance 
officer, and some casuals from the regimental command post 
made up the party. The latter were normally cooks, clerks, or 
messengers. On the way to the spot where the lone tank had 
last been, reported we located a bazooka man and his ammuni- 
tion carrier and a few other soldiers. Clarke's notes show that 
we killed some snipers on the way through the town; I think 
he's correct, because we certainly received a lot of sniper fire. 
I had reason again to note, as in Europe, that American boys 
really need to play more cops and robbers, as in the days of 
my own youth. They just don't know how to hide themselves 
any more, or how to sneak up on an objectivewhether it be 
Willie Jones playing cop or a North Korean guerrilla firing 
out of a window. 

When we located the lone tank it was parked at a business- 
area intersection, with two-storied buildings on all sides, per- 
haps half a mile south of the command post. The buildings 
were set close to the street but were not deep structures, so 
that the interior of each block formed a courtyard completely 
surrounded by shops and stores. 

We approached by entering front doors of stores a block 
away from the tank, going through them and out into the 
rear-area courtyard, then into back doors of a building only 
yards from the quiescent tank. Immediately rifle fire splat- 
tered around us. The tankers had some sort of infantry protec- 
tion now, and these riflemen had seen us. We withdrew 
through the stores to the courtyard, then tried to reach the 
street again at a different spot, but again the rifles found us. 

Men Against Tanks 3 5 

This time I think our position may have been given away by a 
fat and stolid Korean woman who calmly stood on the street 
outside a building while all this firing was going on. One of 
the soldiers wanted to shoot her, but I couldn't be sure enough 
that she was a lookout. 

Instead we went back to the courtyard once more, and this 
rime moved directly behind the building at the corner. Only 
this one structure was between us and the tank. To get up- 
stairs from the courtyard I had to chin myself on a window 
ledge, then clamber up. The bazooka man and I, moving very 
cautiously, entered a plastered room, about seven by eight 
feet. I think Clarke was in the next room, and others behind us. 

Quietly I slipped up beside the street window and looked 
around the side of it with one eye directly into the muzzle 
of the tank's cannon, no more than a dozen feet away. I could 
have spat down the barrel. I signaled to the bazooka man, who 
crept up beside me. Then I pointed to a spot just at the base 
of the cannon, where the turret and body of the tank joined. 

The bazooka went off beside my ear. Plaster cascaded from 
the ceiling; onto our heads and around our shoulders. Fumes 


from the blast filled the room, and concussion shook the whole 
building. From the tank came the most horrible screaming I'd 
ever heard (although I did hear its equal later and under dif- 
ferent circumstances), but the tank still was not on fire. I 
don't think I'm normally a brutal man, but I had just one 
idea. I think I said, "Hit them again!" and pointed to a spot 
on the other side of the turret. The bazooka fired and more 
plaster cascaded, exposing the cornstalks to which most Ko- 
rean plaster is stuck. A third time the bazooka fired, and the 
screaming finally stopped. Smoke rose from the tank. It was 
very quiet in the street. 

This was a day in which I had no sense of time. Time got 

36 General Dean's Story 

lost. Although I hardly had been conscious of any lapse of 
hours since early morning, it was almost evening when we 
came back to the command post for the last time. 

There only details remained to be decided. Colonel Charles 
Beauchamp, the regimental commander who had joined us 
only three days earlier and had brought the 34th renewed 
spirit and fire, had been away from the command post most 
of the day, trying to re-establish his communications, so I 
issued my orders for evacuation to the executive officer, Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Robert L. (Pappy) Wadlington, another of 
the old 44th Division officers now fighting a second war with 
me. The temporary command of the 34th had fallen on 
Wadlington's shoulders when Colonel Martin was killed; and 
Pappy lived up to all my expectations. With his supporting 
artillery ambushed, he had kept his outfit in hand and fought 
a stubborn delaying action back to the Taejon perimeter, at 
which time Colonel Beauchamp, an eagle colonel sent from 
the yth Division, had taken over. 

A counterattack force was organized from kitchen police, 
clerks, and messengers when an artillery commander reported 
that snipers were preventing him from moving his pieces and 
that he might have to pull the breech locks and abandon the 
guns, which had happened all too often in the previous couple 
of weeks of our retreat. But this time Major S. C. McDaniel 
took out his headquarters people and managed to pin down 
the snipers until the guns could pull away toward the rear. 
This young officer had come to us as a replacement, also from 
the yth Division, when Major John J. Dunn, the regimental 
operations officer, was reported missing in action at the same 
time Colonel Martin was killed at Chonan. I felt certain that 
Dunn had been killed too, but learned later that he was seri- 
ously wounded and captured. McDaniel had taken over a diffi- 

Men Against Tanks 3 7 

cult position and had impressed me by his ability and out- 
standing courage. Later on July 20 he too was captured. I've 
learned from returning prisoners of war that he was relentless 
in his efforts to protect the rights of his fellow prisoners, 
despite the repeated threats of his Communist captors. He was 
so adamant that he finally was taken away from the prison 
camp, and his fellow prisoners are convinced that he was 

All day Captain Raymond D. Hatfield, the division trans- 
portation officer, had been worrying about his supply train. 
We had a rolling supply pointthat is, virtually all of our 
ammunition and supplies were kept on a train, so that they 
could be pulled out fast when we needed to retreat again, as 
we had from front-line points farther north. Hatfield was 
trying to get the train out of Taejon toward Yongdong, but 
reported that Korean engineers had uncoupled the locomotive 
and fled with it. 

Fortunately my telephone line to division headquarters was 
still open, and division promised to send a locomotive back 
to Taejon. Hatfield went down to the railroad yard to meet 
it, but soon returned, almost beside himself. The locomotive 
had come clear into the yards, then suddenly backed away 
again at full speed. 

Once more we called headquarters. They told us a sniper 
had killed the engineer and the locomotive had been taken 
out by the fireman, but they would send it in once more, with 
a carload of troops for protection. The last I saw of Hatfield 
(who really belonged at division headquarters, not up here in 
the burning town) was when he made another trip toward the 
railroad yard, still refusing to leave until the train did. 

I added his name to a list I had been keeping. That day I had 
listed about fifteen names of men to whom I intended to award 

38 General Dean's Story 

medals the moment I got a chance Bronze or Silver Stars for 
gallantly or heroic action. I even had a dozen actual medals- 
all the Bronze Stars the Eighth Army possessed at the moment 
in my jeep, so that I could pin them on personally and on 
the spot. I knew I had been far too chary about awarding 
medals in World War II, and it hadn't been fair to the men. 
This time I wasn't going to hand them out like rations, but I 
didn't intend to make the same mistake over again. 

Captain Hatfield never got out of Taejon. When American 
troops retook the town, much later, his body was found. He 
had been wounded, then bayoneted. I have recommended 
since my return to this country that he be awarded post- 
humously a Silver Star for heroic action. Most of the other 
men whose names were put on my list that day never did get 
their awards. I hung on to the list, but rain obliterated 
the names during the subsequent days and weeks. Three years 
later I couldn't remember them nor learn who the men had 
been. I saw my jeep again, under curious circumstances, but 1 
have no idea what happened to the medals that were in it. 

Just about dusk, light tanks from the ist Cavalry Division, 
on temporary assignment to us, came up from the rear, and 
we organized a column of vehicles the first of the regimental 
headquarters to start out under their protection. But only 
moments after they left the schoolhouse, we heard them in a 
fire fight near the center of town. 

Shortly afterward Pappy Wadlington suggested that it was 
time for us to go too. He showed me a last message he pro- 
posed to send to division headquarters, but I rewrote it because 
I thought it sounded, in his version, too much like asking 
rescue for me personally. As a substitute I wrote: "Enemy 
roadblock eastern exit Taejon. Send armor immediately. 

Men Against Tanks 39 

In Europe I had ordered a lot of stations closed, without 
minding. This time I minded. If I had realized that this was 
the last formal order I was to issue for three years, perhaps I 
might have phrased It better one of those ringing things that 
somebody would remember. But I didn't know then, and now 
I can't think of anything better to have said. 

We organized the remaining miscellaneous headquarters 
vehicles into a rough column and started out toward the east, 
the way the previous column had gone with the tanks. As we 
pulled through the city we ran into the tail of this column, 
which had been ambushed. Some trucks were on fire, others 
slewed across a narrow street where buildings on both sides 
were flaming for a block or more. Our own infantry, on one 
side of the street, was in a vicious fire fight with enemy units 
in higher positions on the other side. 

We drove through, careening between the stalled trucks. 
It was a solid line of fire, an inferno that seared us in spite of 
our speed. A block farther on my jeep and an escort jeep 
roared straight past an intersection, and almost immediately 
Clarke, riding with me, said we had missed a turn. But rifle 
fire still poured from buildings on both sides, and turning 
around was out of the question. I looked at a map and decided 
we should go on ahead, south and east, on another road that 
might let us make more speed than the truck- jammed main 
escape route. I had been away from my headquarters too long, 
and had to get back very soon. So we bored down the road 
in the general direction of Kumsan, "while snipers still chewed 
at us from both sides of the road. 

We were all by ourselves. 


The Lonesome Mountains 

Our jeeps tried to barrel through the snipers' fire, but it 
blocked us time after time. At one spot, a truck lay partially 
on its side in a ditch with the driver slumped in his seat. We 
stopped and I ran over. The driver was dead, but under the 
truck were a couple of men talking to each other about sur- 
rendering. One said, "We might as well surrender. There 
isn't any use in this." 

There were some walking wounded here too, and I filled 
my jeep with them, then started talking to the men under the 
truck. A Communist showed himself in silhouette on top of a 
hill, so I grabbed an M-i and fired. I used to be good with a 
Springfield, but I hate to admit that I'm no great shakes with 
an M-i. I don't know whether I hit this man, but he dropped 
and the sniper fire let up a little. I signaled to Clarke in my 
jeep and to the escort jeep now filled with casuals or wound- 
ed mento go on; and the two men who had been cowering 
under the truck came out to join me. 

I had hoped that there would be no more vehicles on this 
wrong road, but an artillery half-track rumbled up. I think 
that was the most heavily loaded vehicle I ever saw. It was so 
crammed with men that we couldn't get in we just got on, 
hanging by precarious toe- and hand-holds. 

We rumbled ahead and presently caught up with my jeeps. 


The Lonesome Mountains 41 

They had been blocked and abandoned at a spot where the 
road made a slight S-bend as it approached a river and bridge. 
Here the Communists had set up a roadblock. Riflemen were 
along the S itself and at the left of the road, and apparently a 
machine gun was emplaced behind one of our wrecked vehi- 
cles at the bridge. Heavy fire swept the raised road, from in 
front of us and on the left side. 

We tumbled off the road embankment into a ditch at the 
right for protection. Here I realized that I no longer had any 
weapon. I had left the M-i on the half-track when I jumped 
for the ditch; my pistol had been lost somewhere, and the 
holster dangled empty at my hip. 

Clarke was in the ditch with several other men. He had been 
an air officer, but now he showed infantry ability. When 1 
asked him to make an informal muster, he counted seventeen 
Americans and a terrified Korean civilian who spoke English 
and later told me he had once worked for the U. S. State 
Department in Seoul. 

We started crawling away from the road the Communist 
fire covered, around a small house, and through a bean or 
sweet potato field. On the way the little Korean, something of 
a dandy from his appearance, fell up to his armpits in a honey 
(fertilizer) pit and was absolutely speechless thereafter. We 
reached the bank of the river, well away from the bridge, and 
lay there in a semicircle, waiting. I remember delivering a 
small lecture to the men about keeping off the ridge lines, 
about using their halizone tablets to purify the river water with 
which they were filling their canteens (neither Clarke nor I 
had one), and about patience. I said that we'd have to wait 
until full dark to go on, and that patience was very important. 
A couple of years later, I wondered a time or two just how 
patient a man was required to be. 

42 General Dean's Story 

The group had only a few arms of assorted kinds. Clarke, 
who had been hit in the shoulder, insisted that I take his 
pistol. "I can't use it anyhow," he said. 

Our bank of the river was low, but a mountain rose directly 
from the other side. Our plan was to cross here where the 
Communist fire did not bar the river to us, then swing over 
the mountain and down to the highway again beyond the 
roadblock. In full dark we got across, wading, and started 
climbing the steep, unstable slope. It was rough going. I was 
leading, and presently Clarke worked his way up to me and 
said, "We have a badly wounded man behind us." 

Clarke and I went back to help the wounded man, who was 
hit in both legs, and Captain Rowlands, the liaison officer who 
had been with us on the tank hunt earlier in the day, took the 

I had carefully planned the withdrawal from Taejon to 
include the blowing of bridges and tunnels at exactly the 
right time. Rowlands and only Rowlandswas to have given 
the word to demolition squads, but he didn't reach any com- 
munications for three or four days, so as far as I know the 
demolition charges never were fired. That's the sort of thing 
that happens to careful planning during a retreat. 

Two soldiers already were carrying the wounded man. 
Another man staggered along beside them. At the first oppor- 
tunity Clarke used his first-aid kit to bind the man's leg 
wounds, although his own shoulder still had not been treated. 

This was sandy soil, very loose, and it was difficult for two 
men to carry another between them. I said, "Hell, get 
this man up on my shoulders. I can carry him more easily that 
way by myself." 

But Dean is always forgetting how old he is. That one-man 
carry didn't last long. The soldier was too heavy for me, and 

The Lonesome Mountains 43 

I was almost falling on my face. We went back to the two- 
man carry, and even then it seemed as If my turn came around 
every five minutes. 

It was pitch-dark, and we were trying to move with as 
little noise as possible, to avoid stirring up North Korean 
patrols. The main group ahead kept moving too fast, away 
from us, simply because they had no way of telling that we 
weren't right behind them. The man we were carrying be- 
came more or less delirious; he drank all the available water 
and then called for more. We only hoped we knew where 
the party ahead was going; we kept struggling to catch up, but 
we had to stop for rest very often. 

During one of the rest stops I thought I heard water run- 
ning, just off the ridge to one side I was sure I heard it. I 
started off in that direction, and the next thing I knew I was 
running down a slope so steep that I could not stop. 

I plunged forward and fell. 

A statement by Lieutenant Clarke about these events 
declared, in part: "About twelve, midnight, the general told 
me he was going down [the hillside] for water. I wouldn't let 
him and told him that we had seen North Koreans [by 
presumption] tracking us to the base of the hill, and we could 
assume they were still there. Also told Mm that there probably 
was a stream on the other side of the hill. 

"The next day i: 15 a.m. while leading the patrol, I found 
no one was following me, and no noise to the rear. So 
I returned to find five men asleep on the ground. I called for 
the general, and one of the men answered that he had gone 
for water. As I figured the round trip could be made in an 
hour, I set the goal of two hours as the maximum time that 
we could wait. The general didn't take a canteen or a helmet, 

44 General Dean's Story 

so I assumed he was going to try to find some stragglers rather 
than to get water. At 3 : 1 5 a.m. I woke the men and we headed 
to the top of the hill, arriving just before dawn. . . . Just 
as it was beginning to get light, I had the men spread oat and 
posted two as guards for one-hour shifts. I figured we'd at 
least be able to see what killed us, as we had no weapons. I no 
sooner posted the guards when I checked and found them 
asleep. I awoke them and asked them if they wanted to be 
killed. I don't remember their exact answers, but they were to 
the effect that they didn't care whether they were killed or 
not. So 1 stood guard until they woke up. At daylight I 
searched the area with my field glasses, saw that our vehicles 
[the ones abandoned on the road the night before] were gone, 
and three Koreans were sitting on top of a hill to the northeast 
of us. We spent the day where we were, on top of the hill. 
It was scorching hot. We had the shade only of a few bushes 
about a foot high. During the day the men almost turned 
against me because I wouldn't let them start off until it got 
dark. As it did begin to get dark we started south along the 
ridge until we reached a cliff at the southern end. At this 
point we walked around the top of a ledge, about six feet 
wide, and then slid down a slope. . . ." 

The remainder of the statement details his party's further 
experiences in getting back to the U.S. lines, which they 
reached two days later, on July 23. 

When I awoke I had no idea how long I had been knocked 
out, and at first didn't realize that I had a gash on my head. 
But when I tried to rise on my hands and knees I found I had 
a broken shoulder. My abdomen where I'd had an operation 
a year before hurt fearfully. I was dazed and groggy. I looked 

The Lonesome Mountains 45 

at niy watch, which read twelve-thirty a.m. or that's what 
I thought it said, although now I believe it must have been 
later. I was down in a dry creek bed with very steep sides; 
and all I could think of was, "My God, what's happened to 
those people up there? I don't know where I am." 

I don't think I had walked more than twenty yards or so 
from the rest of the party, but I couldn't tell how far my in- 
voluntary run had taken me, or how far I'd rolled in my fall. 
I've tried dozens of times to reconstruct that run and fall in 
my mind, but I simply don't know how it happened. My 
present guess is that I was a hundred yards down the hill- 
not a cliff, but a very steep, sandy slope. 

I heard water again, and I needed it badly. I crawled along 
the dry stream bottom and finally found a trickle oozing out 
of the rocks. I scooped out a hollow with my hands, and when 
it filled with water I stuck my face down in the dirty puddle 
and drank, not worrying at all about halizone tablets. I remem- 
ber that I then started back up the barren hillside, perhaps on 
my hands and knees or just scrabbling, but I don't know what 
happened next. 

I must have passed out again, because when I regained con- 
sciousness I was lying on my side and an eight- or ten-man 
North Korean patrol was moving no more than ten yards 
from me. This was false dawn, just a faint glow over the east- 
ern hills; but even in the improved light they failed to see me. 
I can't imagine why they missed me, but they kept right on 
going, scrambling up that steep incline like so many mountain 
goats, in the same direction that I had been headed. 

I thought, "Oh-oh, this is the end for Clarke and the others. 
They're gone now." That was the lowest moment I've ever 
had in my life. I could see all those people on the hill being 

46 General Dean's Story 

killed; and the realization that Clarke didn't even have a pistol 
I had hismade me feel even worse. But there was absolutely 
nothing I could do about it. 

I was also tortured by the thought, not new, that I should 
have done something about him earlier. Both Clarke and my 
other aide, Captain David Bissett, were married men with 
young children; and ever since we had come to Korea I had 
been trying to figure out some way to fire both of them with- 
out hurting their feelings. They were good aides and good 
officers, but my experience with aides and drivers for division 
commanders in wartime is that they are very likely to get 
killed. I felt I shouldn't have men with young children taking 
the risks they had to take. I had been able to keep Bissett at 
headquarters most of the time, although he was thoroughly 
angry with me and even had told me, "General, I don't appre- 
ciate this. Why can't I have a company?" 

But I had not done anything else about relieving either of 
them, and now I thought, "Well, Clarke's gone; and if I don't 
get back to headquarters myself, Bissett will ask for a line 
company for sure, and probably get killed too." They were 
both very fine men, and I'd never been so proud of Clarke as 
in the last few hours when he'd been organizing that column 
and keeping people together. 

When the North Koreans were out of sight I crawled back 
to the trickle of water and drank again. I was dead tired, but 
I thought, "Oh-oh, I can't stay here. Other people may know 
about this waterhole." So I crawled up into some bushes 
fifteen or twenty feet away from it, just as daylight was com- 
ing on, and stayed there all day, only about half-conscious. 
I could hear trucks and people over on the highway we had 
left, a lot of noise, as if the Communists might be working on 
their vehicles, and some firing. 

The Lonesome Mountains 47 

As soon as darkness came I started out again, first crawling 
back up the hillside, then along the top of the ridge, without 
seeing any sign of the party I'd lost the night before or of the 
Communist patrol of the morning. My shoulder was useless, 
so scrambling up the hill was difficult; on the top I was able 
to stagger along more easily. Then the ridge suddenly ended 
in a sheer cliff. A trail zigzagged down, but it was extremely 
steep, almost a hand-hold trail, and I had great difficulty with 
it. Walking itself seemed to do something to my insides; and 
it was especially hard for me to get to my feet after I had 
been sitting or lying down to rest. 

Working at it a long time, I finally managed to get down 
about ten feet on the trail, where it flattened out in an escarp- 
ment, a sort of shelf on the side of the mountain. The trail 
went along it for a short distance, then dived another ten 
feet down to a second shelf. These ten-foot slopes were mur- 
der to get down. I barely managed to reach the foot of the 
second when rain started to pour down, as I think it can rain 
nowhere except in Korea. It came in torrents, and I was almost 
overcome by the desire for something to drink. There had 
been no water on top of the ridge. I found a big flat rock, 
perhaps six feet across, sticking up a foot above the ground 
level. I wanted to keep going but couldn't make it just then, 
so I lay down beside the rock and stretched my handkerchief 
out on top of it in the pouring rain. When it got soaked with 
water, I squeezed it out into my mouth, a few drops at a time. 
I think I spent most of the night doing that, instead of moving 
on toward our lines. 

I was still lying there in the morning when I heard a noise, 
something scrambling down the same path I had used. I got 
around behind the rock and pulled my pistol, just in case it 
might be a North Korean. 

48 General Dean's Story 

But the man who lurched into view was a young American. 
He had not seen me yet he was too busy making his way 
down that brutal pathwhen I called to him. "Who are you? 11 
I said. "What outfit are you from?" 

He jumped when he heard me but sighed with relief when 
he got a look and saw that I too was an American. He said, 
"I'm Lieutenant Tabor Stanley Tabor from the Nineteenth 
Infantry. Who are you?" 

I tried to get up from behind my rock but had trouble. 
Then I said, "Well, I'm the S.O.B. who's the cause of all this 

Tabor said he had been with Easy Company of the znd 
Battalion, which I had thrown into the river perimeter to 
bolster up the 34th's strength. In the retreat he'd been cut off 
and had started walking south by himself. 

We started walking again that morning, Tabor carrying his 
carbine and I with Clarke's pistol banging against my leg. 
I've enjoyed walking all my life and usually can outwalk 
many young people. But not on this day. I had to keep stop- 
ping to rest because of the pain under my ribs and in my 
abdomen. I just wanted to sit down. After each rest Tabor 
would pull me to my feet, and we'd make a few more yards. 

I said, "You go on ahead. One person can get through a lot 
quicker. I'm stove up, and there's no use pooping around 

But he always would say, "No, two have a better chance," 
and would refuse to leave me. 

About one o'clock that afternoon we found the highway 
again. But it was bordered by open fields, and every time we'd 
try to cross we would see vehicles or soldiers of the Inmun 
Gun (North Korean term for "People's Army"). So we kept 
heading south through the brush, toward Kumsan, waiting for 

The Lonesome Mountains 49 

an opportunity to turn toward the east, in the direction of 
Yongdong, where I had left division headquarters. 

That afternoon we stumbled into a family of refugees from 
Taejon, a mother and two teen-aged sons who had strung a 
rude tentjust a piece of canvas, really beside a stream. None 
of them could speak English, but they gave us some of their 
rice and made us understand that we should stay out of sight 
under the canvas until dark. We got the idea that there were 
many North Koreans in the area, but none of them bothered 

Both of us got some sleep. When we awakened we asked the 
family if they would guide us toward Yongdong that evening. 
They made us understand that this town more than twenty 
miles east of Taejon had also been captured by the Commu- 
nists. The military situation, then, was in even worse shape 
than I had feared. We had to assume this news was true; and 
if it was, Tabor and I were in a bad spot. I knew it would be 
terribly hard to get all the way east to Kumchon, which 
would be the next logical place for division headquarters to 
move if Yongdong was lost. We would have to pass through 
a defile; and the hill country around Yongdong always had 
been full of Communists. Even in the occupation days hunt- 
ers passed up this fine deer country because of the many 

So I said, " We'll have to head south toward Kumsan, then 
try to get to Chinan, and east toward Taegu." In other 
words, I thought we'd make a big swing south, then cut to 
the east well below the main invasion route. This was to be 
my general plan for a long time. 

That evening we started south again. There were no stars 
or other guideposts for holding our direction, and we didn't 
make much time. This was on the evening of July 22, and I 

50 General Dean's Story- 

guess my various injuries affected my mind, because the next 
days are more or less a blank. I know we had no food and 
that we did keep going, but the rest is just a haze of weariness, 
trying to get to my feet and failing without help, and ever- 
lastingly stumbling along one trail after another. Tabor must 
have kept us both going by will power, because I don't 
remember having any. 

This may have gone on for one day or three. At last we 
reached a small town. I think we had turned around somehow 
and were heading west rather than south. This village may 
have been near Chinsan. At any rate we stumbled into it, and 
within a few minutes the whole population was around us. 
We asked for food, and someone brought us water with some 
kind of uncooked grain ground up in it. I've never seen or 
heard of it elsewhere. They also gave each of us two raw eggs. 
Two men in the crowd spoke some English, one of them well 
and one just a few words. The people seemed friendly, so we 
asked about where the Inmun Gun was, and whether they 
would guide us to Taegu. I offered them a million 'won 
(approximately $i 100 the exchange then was about 860 to i) 
if they would take us through. Even when Koreans speak 
English well, they often confuse figures, so I drew the figure 
in the dirt. 

We should have noticed that the man who spoke better 
English had disappeared, but we didn't. The one who spoke 
less well said, "Okay, okay, come with me." He indicated that 
we should come to his house to get some rest, and that he 
would take us to Taegu in the morning. Fie led us to a house 
at the far edge of the village, where we took off our boots 
and entered an unfurnished room. The Korean sat on the 
floor with us and in his very broken English asked whom the 
village people should support. He diagrammed it: the Amcr- 

The Lonesome Mountains 5 1 

leans pushing one way, the North Koreans the other. It was 
all very confusing, he Indicated, and I'm afraid we didn't help 
his confusion much. Instead we went to sleep on the floor. 

Several hours laterit must have been early in the morning 
we heard a rifle shot just outside the house. At the sound 
that little Korean never hesitated. He went out a door like a 
rabbit out of a box. He was gone, without any preliminaries. 

Outside a voice called, "Come out, Americans! Come out! 
We will not kill you. We are members of the People's Army. 
Corne out, Americans!" The English was the best that I'd 
heard a Korean speak. 

Tabor said, "This is it," and reached for his carbine. 

We didn't "come out." I said to Tabor, "Come on, get 
your boots on, in a hurry," and we both did. We left by an- 
other door away from both the rifle shot and the door the 
Korean had used, and jumped into some high weeds right 
beside the house. 

"I'll lead," I said as we started crawling up a little hill in 
the dark. "With the carbine, you can cover me better than 
I can cover you with a pistol. I'll be the point." I remember 
I also said, "I'm not going to surrender, Tabor. There won't 
be any surrender for me." 

"That's the way I feel too," he said. 

There were more shots. They heard us in the weeds and 
fired in that direction. We reversed our course and went right 
back through the village, which was In pandemonium, every- 
body in the street and everybody yelling. We went right 
through town, past those Korean civilians, but none of them 
did anything. Crossing back-lots and skirting around houses, 
we finally came out in a rice paddy at the other edge of town. 
These paddies are divided into small cells, perhaps thirty feet 
across, with high dikes between. The water was about four 

5 2 General Dean's Story 

inches deep and the rice stuck up another four or five inches. 

We dived into the rice and the water, crawling on our 
bellies, using our elbows to inch us forward in the old infan- 
try fashion. Two soldiers were across the paddy on a dike; 
they did not see us at first. I led out in the crawling, crossing 
one cell, then scooting over a dike and into the next, while 
the soldiers wearing Inmun Gun uniforms, I think con- 
tinued to search from their vantage point on a parallel dike. 

We crossed three of these cells, with the intervening dikes. 
Tabor was still with me. Then I went over another dike and 
crawled some more, but when I looked back, Tabor was not 
behind me and I was not to see another American for three 
long years. 

During the thirty-five days I spent in the hills of South 
Korea several subjects cluttered my mind: food, inability to 
tell time of day or day of month, worry over my friends and 
aides, and the frantic necessity for getting back to United 
Nations lines with new information I had gathered about the 
enemy. These varied in importance from day to day, but all 
of them were there, all the time. So was an hour-to-hour, 
day-to-day concern about a pistol and just twelve rounds of 
.45 ammunition. Those twelve rounds were the most impor- 
tant in the world, because they were all I had. 

While I lay in that rice paddy waiting for Tabor to catch 
up with me, I thought the time had come when I'd have to 
use that ammunition. I couldn't imagine what had happened 
to the lieutenant. We'd been doing very well, inching for- 
ward on our elbows and bellies, and there had been no sounds 
of firing or pursuit. Finally I crawled onto the edge of the 
paddy, where only a dike separated the rice land from a 
stream and a path beside it. Still he hadn't caught up. 

The Lonesome Mountains 53 

I called, "Tabor! Tabor!" The only answer was from one 
of the Communist soldiers on a nearby dike. He fired at the 
sound of my voice. I clung to the ground and took out the 
pistol, getting ready to use It. I knew that I'd see the soldier's 
silhouette on the dike in the dim pre-dawn light before he 
could see me. But he must also have realized this, because he 
never came closer. I waited quite a long time, then called, 
"Tabor! Tabor!" once more. Again, shots were my answer. 
After half an hour with nothing whatever happening, I 
crawled back to look over into the last paddy cell we had 
crossed together; but Tabor wasn't there either. 

It was almost full daylight now, and my advantage over 
the Communists hunting me was gone. I felt like a sheep- 
stealing dog, but I had to go on. I crawled along the path 
beside the stream and finally found some foxholes, evidently 
dug by Communists for a roadside ambush. I was still within 
hearing distance of the village, but I figured that the last place 
pursuers would look for me would be in one of their own 
foxholes. I crawled down into one, past drying watermelon 
rinds the former owners had thrown out from some feast they 
had held while waiting for somebody to ambush. 

I have never figured out what could have happened to 
Tabor that morning. It's difficult to keep going in a straight 
line when you're crawling with heads down, as we were, and 
the paddy cells were oddly shaped, never square. He may 
simply have become confused and changed direction, losing 
sight of me, then was unable to find me where I stopped 
beside the path. It's also possible that he dropped into one of 
the drainage or fertilizer holes which are in nearly every rice- 
paddy cell. For a day or so previous to this, we had been 
arguing a little about these. Tabor thought we should come 
down to the paddies, using the holes to hide In when neces- 

54 General Dean's Story 

sary; but I had vetoed the Idea, insisting that the only way 
to get anywhere in Korea is to keep to the high ground. It 
could be that he merely decided, once we were separated, to 
use his own judgment. However, I am convinced that he lost 
direction while crawling. 

I learned in 1953 that Tabor had been brought into a 
prisoner-of-war stockade at Taejon on August 4, 1950. Our 
flight from the village was in the early hours of July 25 or 
July 26, so I don't believe he was captured that day. The 
village people certainly would not have waited so long to 
turn him over to the nearest Communist headquarters for 
whatever reward was then being offered for lieutenants. I 
think he may have remained free several days after we lost 
each other, but no positive check is possible. He was in such 
bad shape when taken prisoner that he finally died, from mal- 
nutrition and pneumonia. Returning prisoners in 1953 told 
the story of his death to his wife, whom he had married three 
months before going to Korea, and also relayed his report of 
having been with me for two weeks in the hills. Actually our 
time together was two or three days, not weeks; but the story 
had passed through many hands before it came back to me. 

I'm still heartsick about him. Perhaps I should have gone 
back even farther that morning in the paddies, but I don't 
think I could have found him. My recommendation that he 
be awarded a Silver Star for his disregard of his personal 
safety in staying with me was made after my return to this 

No sooner had I dropped into that foxhole by the roadside 
than I saw a farmer carrying a little girl, about three years 
old, on his back. Thank God he was not coming from the 
direction of the village; presumably he did not know about 
the hue and cry for me. He definitely saw me, so there was 

The Lonesome Mountains 5 5 

no point In trying to hide. I tried for the first time what was 
to become a regular practice when your hiding place in 
Korea is discovered, ask for food. 

I got out of the hole and made signs. The word pop, made 
with a sharper sound than in English, means rice in Korean. 
I said, "Pop," and placed a hand on my stomach. 

It worked. He made signs that I was to get back down in 
the hole and stay there, then went on. In about an hour he 
came back with a big bowl of rice, more than I could eat. 
After I had my fill I tore off the North Korean part of a 
map I had in my pocket (not being at all interested in North 
Korea just then) and wrapped what was left of the rice in it. 

Then I crouched in the foxhole and took out the pistol 
again. When I tried to fire it, empty, nothing happened, 
which gave me special cold chills as I remembered my plan 
to use it against the soldier on the dike a couple of hours 
earlier. I spent the day stripping it all the way down, cleaning 
it as best I could of the rnud and water it had picked up, 

I had the twelve rounds of ammunition and the two clips. 
Then and later, I was torn by indecision: Fd burnish those 
shells every day, but I never could make up my mind per- 
manently which was the better way to keep them. Should I 
have one shell always in the pistol chamber, and the other 
clip full that is, carrying eight rounds not worrying about 
the three remaining shells? Or should I put six shells in each 
clip and depend on having time to change clips in the midst 
of a fight? Neither system suited me, really, because neither 
could insure that I'd be able to use eleven for knocking out 
Communists and one for knocking out Dean. I figured this 
last was essential. Even if I could have stomached the idea 
personally, I knew that I couldn't afford to surrender, because 
of my rank. The Communists would be sure to capitalize on 

56 General Dean's Story 

the surrender of a general, just as we had in Europe. They 
might even put out the information that I had gone over to 
their side, and there wouldn't be anything that I could do 
about it. I remembered that in Europe we had captured a 
German SS general who got lost in a retreat; and immediately 
our propaganda people had made capital out of him, telling 
the Germans in leaflets and broadcasts that he was just smart, 
he'd realized it was "a quarter to twelve" and had surrendered 
deliberately. That was not going to happen to Dean not if 
bullet number twelve could prevent it. 

I stayed in the foxhole all that day. Toward evening the 
farmer came back with more rice. When I showed him the 
rice I'd saved he grimaced and threw it away. When you 
want to keep cooked rice, you wrap it in a cloth so that it 
can "breathe." Wrapped in a tight paper, it sours within 
hours. I was to learn a lot about rice, and that was the first 

After dark I left the foxhole and started walking again, 
still holding to my project of going south to get out of the 
way of the main troop movements, then east toward Taegu. 
I kicked myself for being without a compass. Traveling only 
at night, I could not use the sun effectively to check my direc- 
tion; and the old Boy Scout system of getting a bearing from 
a watch was no good to me. My watch had stopped days 
before. Most nights the stars were obscured, and I had to go 
by guess-reckoning, which was often wrong. I think I made 
almost a complete circle during the next three nights, accom- 
plishing nothing. 

The only thing was, I did feel better. I could get up by 
myself now; and dysentery, which had bothered me during 
the first twenty days in Korea, was gone. In fact, my elimi- 
nation came to a complete stop for thirty-two days. I thought 

The Lonesome Mountains 57 

I was a medical curiosity, but when I told my story years 
later in a Tokyo hospital nobody was impressed. Army doc- 
tors said anything under a hundred days was nothing to brag 
about. Nevertheless Fm still amazed. 

On the night of what I think was August i, I started walk- 
ing early. I was up in the mountains by this time. I was mak- 
ing distance every night, and I thought, "All's well. Ill get 

I was on a ridge, approaching what I think must have been 
Kuinsan, although I wasn't coming from the proper direction. 
I seemed to be traveling east, from the direction of Chinsan, 
rather from the south. That was what made me certain I must 
have been going in a circle. In the early evening I passed some 
women working In the fields. As I went by I noticed that a 
little boy of about nine left them and was following me. 1 
went over a rise and slipped into some bushes, sure that I had 
eluded him. After some time I came out again and reached 
a hill overlooking the town. From my vantage point I picked 
out a house detached from the others and decided that when 
full dark came I would go there and ask for food. I had not 
eaten since the farmer gave me rice on July 25 or 26. 

For some reason not clear now, I was quite certain the 
people in this particular house would feed me. But just as I 
got to my feet to go down and try my panhandling, a youth 
carrying a rifle came out and started running up the hill- 
running like mad. Pretty soon another came out and also ran 
up the hill. I thought it fortunate that I had waited as long 
as I had to case the town. Then at least three more youths 
ran out of other houses farther down the street. I couldn't 
tell whether they were armed, but none was in uniform. They 
all were heading more or less away from me. I hunched down 
In the bushes and was just about to congratulate myself on 

5 8 General Dean's Story 

my hiding place when I heard a rustling behind me and here 
was this nine-year-old, pointing" down at me and trying to 
signal to the men. He wasn't more than a couple of yards 
from me. 

I lunged at him, and I'm afraid I wasn't very pleasant. I 
really cussed him out. He turned and ran; and I crawled out 
of there fast and went the other way. There was shooting all 
around me, and bullets clipped the bushes above my head. 
Somebody yelled as If he'd been hit, but Dean was on his 

When I'd come to Korea I had hoped I soon would be a 
grandfather, but I didn't feel grandfatherly then. If I could, 
I'd have wrung that moth-eaten little buzzard's neck. 


The Capture 

So I still had nothing to eat. I walked on through the night. 

On the trail the next day I met a Korean man. Again there 
was no chance for concealment, so I walked up boldly and 
asked him for food. This time my system didn't work. He 
would have nothing to do with me, turning abruptly and 
walking away as if I didn't exist. I was worried for a while 
after that, but there were no sounds of pursuit. I decided he 
probably had told no one of meeting me. I think now this 
was a typical Korean act: to do nothing, to take no respon- 
sibility. If he had either fed me or reported me he would have 
been personally involved and that's usually the last thing any 
Korean wants. I've been told that this fear of personal respon- 
sibility accounts for the fact that most Koreans will walk 
around a person dying in the street without making any at- 
tempt to give aid. So long as they act as if the dying person 
didn't exist, or the accident had not happened, they person- 
ally aren't responsible for it. 

By that night hunger was beginning to be a vital problem. 
When I spotted some smoke rising I figured there must be 
a village near and I worked down toward it cautiously, re- 
membering the small boy of the day before. It was a good 
thing I did. Just after I had scooted across a high-way I saw 
at least ten big North Korean tanks rumbling through that 


60 General Dean's Story 

village, heading south. This was obviously a main highway, 
and that village was no place for me. 

I got better at sleeping by daylight and traveling by night, 
but I still wasn't making much progress. Those mountain 
trails wind around so in the ridges that you walk miles to 
make what is a short distance in a straight line. I was walking 
more easily now; although my abdomen still hurt and I 
couldn't raise my left arm. I wasn't sufferingexcept from 

By this time I had changed my first objective to Chonju, 
even farther south and slightly west of Kumsan. My reason- 
ing was that some South Korean officials just might be left 
in that town, with some sort of transport. Perhaps I could 
get a ride to Taegu, or even along the extreme southern route 
all the way to Pusan. 

The ridge trails were such slow going that I began to get 
down on the roads more often. When I'd approach a village 
in the early evening or late in the morning I'd leave the road 
and circle around the village through the hills, although this 
had to be done without trails in most instances. It was frus- 
trating and took endless time. 

About three nights after my experience with the small boy 
I started walking in the early evening and saw a village ahead. 
It was still light and I should have started another circle, but 
I was a little overconfident and stayed on the road. 

Then I met another little boy. This one was five or six 
years old. As soon as he saw me he turned tail and ran back 
to the village screaming as if his end had come. 

Well, I knew what that would mean. Instead of turning 
off the road, I hurried after him, almost running myself. Close 
by the first houses I jumped off the road into a ditch and a 
bunch of weeds. 

The Capture 61 

Sure enough, here came all the males in town. I noticed 
only one rifle and one burp gun, but a number of the other 
men had bamboo spears. They all followed the little boy back 
along the road to the point where he had seen me I could 
see the little devil pointing out the exact spot-then spread 
out and began the hunt. 

Fortunately for me, this town was huddled between a hill 
on one side and some kaffir fields (maize) on the other. 
Beyond the kaffir was a stream. I crawled through the fields 
to the stream, walked along its bed in the same direction I 
had been going previously until I was well past the town, 
then came back up on the road. The last I saw of that place, 
the men were still beating through the weeds with their guns 
and spears, and all the women were standing out on the main 
street waiting for somebody to bring me in. 

I still didn't like little boys, Korean variety. 

Thereafter, whenever I came on a village in the middle of 
the night, I just walked right through it, paying no attention 
to the dozens of dogs barking at me. Even when it was pitch- 
black I had no trouble knowing the villages were there. You 
always can smell a Korean town before you see it. You al- 
ways can recognize the police stations too, because they're 
all built alike: a big stone wall, perhaps eight feet high, 
around a compound, double wooden gates at the front, and 
a twenty-foot round stone tower, like a silo, somewhere in- 
side. Usually, I just ignored them. But one dark night when 
I was hiking along a rather good road, by Korean standards, 
someone challenged me from the shadows just as I passed the 
gates of the town jailhouse. He yelled one word, which must 
have meant "Halt!" from a spot no more than eight feet 

I had no previous warning that he was there, and he startled 

6 2 General Dean's Story 

me. He did more than that. He scared me half to death, and 
made me mad too at myself for being careless and at him for 
being alive. I was so flustered that I did a foolish thing. I 
whirled and yanked out my pistol and walked right into him. 
He was just a youngster, I think, armed with a rifle that had 
a long thin Russian-type bayonet on it. I shoved my pistol 
right in his guts, hard, and he backed up. I backed him right 
into the gate. He was so surprised that he didn't do anything. 

Just as he got inside the gate I turned and walked very fast 
in the same direction I had been going. It was only a few 
yards to the corner of this jailhouse compound. Here I turned 
to the left, ran along the wall all the way to the rear of the 
compound, turned left again along the back wall of the com- 
pound, made one more left turn, and came back to the road 
on the side of the compound from which I had come origi- 
nally. I waited there to see what would happen. 

Inside the compound there was a lot of yelling as soon as 
the guard recovered enough to give the alarm, and a whole 
squad, some in uniform, some in civvies, poured out into the 
road and headed the way the guard had seen me go. As soon 
as I saw the direction they were taking, I walked back up the 
road on which I had entered the town. I'd noticed a Y fork 
off the main highway a short distance before I hit the town. 
I went back to it and took the other arm of the Y in the 
same general direction I wanted but not on the highway. I 
never did get back to that highway again. 

The only explanation I have for the guard's failure to act 
is that he was just rushed off his feet. If he'd ever lifted that 
damned rifle to his shoulder I would have had to kill him 
right there. But he didn't. When I thought about it later, I 
could see that what I'd done was a fine way to get killed for 
sure but that one time the bluff worked. 

The Capture 63 

I had one other close call, also in the middle of a black 
night. This time I stumbled into a town before I'd noticed, 
and again was in front of a police station. There had been a 
guard post in the road, I guess, and I walked right into a little 
charcoal fire they'd left burning. I don't know where the 
people were, and the only thing I could do was to keep on 
walking. I guess they never saw or heard rne, because noth- 
ing happened. 

None of the village dogs really bothered me. But up in the 
mountains, miles from anywhere, the big dogs kept by the 
charcoal burners around their huts sounded so ferocious, so 
bloodthirsty, that I stayed away from those huts even though 
I now needed food badly. Those dogs sounded as if they were 
quite capable of tearing me apart. I also wanted to avoid the 
charcoal people. Many of them had been Communist sym- 
pathizers and outcasts even in the old days, and I was afraid 
to trust them. I think now this was a mistake; but at the time 
I didn't feel that I could take the chance. 

By this time my equipment was getting in very bad shape. 
I was wearing an oversized pair of coveralls which I had 
got in exchange for my combat suit, too small for me, from 
a forward air observer at Okchon a few days before Taejon 
fell. These coveralls were quite cumbersome and bulky and 
had to be stripped off entirely when I forded a stream. My 
combat boots also were the worse for wear, and one was 
chafing the top of my foot badly. I had a watch that didn't 
work; a fountain pen that did; a pair of reading glasses; the 
remainder of my map of Korea; forty dollars in U. S. Korean- 
occupation scrip, which nobody wanted; and the pistol. I 
had no rain gear. When it rained I got wet. And it did rain, 
repeatedly and with fervor. When rain and dark combined 
I seldom knew where I was going for more than a few feet 

64 General Dean's Story 

ahead. And when it rained during the day I lost sleep. 

My hunger was becoming dangerous, but there was no- 
where to get food. Up here in the mountain area I seldom 
found a house standing the result of the South Korean gov- 
ernment's prewar campaign against the guerrillas, which had 
consisted largely of burning the house of anyone the con- 
stabulary or police even suspected of harboring or cooperat- 
ing with guerrillas. And I was afraid to go down to the 
villages. During the day I could see that the Communists 
already had organized the whole area. Labor had been im- 
pressed all over the place. Men worked in big gangs, mostly 
on the roads; and old Japanese or Russian rifles and burp 
guns had been given to a few youths in each town. These 
kids were swelled up with the importance of their jobs as 
home guards and just itching for a chance to fire those weap- 
ons. I couldn't take any more risks. 

I had found out some things about the Korean country- 
side too. It didn't pay me to start walking early in the eve- 
ning or to walk very far into the dawn. In the evenings 
children and dogs were all around the villages; and in the 
early morning old men would come out, often with small 
youngsters trailing along, to look at the fields. They didn't 
work in those early hours but just walked out to look, as if 
planning the day's work. And like old men everywhere, they 
awoke very early. If I walked in the evening or after the 
first flush of dawn I was in danger of meeting sonic- 

I also found that I had to pick my daylight hiding places 
well away from villages. During the day brush- and weed- 
gathering parties old men, children, sometimes women- 
worked the untilled areas around the towns. Few Koreans 
can afford wood to burn in their homes, and they use the 

The Capture 65 

brambles and grass for cooking fuel and to make smudge 
fires against the mosquitoes in the evenings. Each village at 
nightfall looks as if it is on fire, each a sort of little Pittsburgh 
under Its own pall of smoke. 

These bramble-gathering parties cover a lot of ground. 
Village children also play away from the houses, so I had to 
find cover far out to be at all safe. 

When I didn't, the results weren't good. One morning I 
stopped to take a bath in a stream as I was crossing it, and 
when I got started walking again this* was somewhere near 
Yongdarn women already were coming down to the river 
to wash clothes. I couldn't reach good cover and had to crawl 
into some bushes much too close to the community laundry 
spot. The women were not more than fifty yards from me, 
and 1 didn't dare to sleep, fearing that children wandering 
away from their mothers might find me. If they did, I wanted 
to be awake to know it. 

Across the river and back from it about a quarter of a mile 
I could see a village, evidently the hub of the universe In this 
area. Soldiers came and went from the police station, and 
civilians constantly were reporting to the same headquarters. 

The women washing their clothes in the river had come 
from behind me, not across the stream, so I assumed there 
must be another village, out of my view but very close and 
on my side of the river. Three or four paths converged on 
the river bank where the women did their washing and ex- 
changed continuous gossip. 

I got through the day all right; but that evening one woman 
did not follow the paths the others had taken away from the 
river. Carrying a big pile of clean clothes on her head, she 
came up a path I had not seen before, not more than four feet 
from me. As she passed she looked right at me. If I had a face 

66 General Dean's Story 

like hers, I could make a million dollars playing poker. There 
was no facial expression at all Not a muscle twitched. She 
just looked and kept on walking. 

I was still trying to decide whether that old girl with the 
washing on her head could possibly have failed to see me 
when my question was answered by the arrival of two young 
men who came from the direction in which she had gone. 
They walked right to my hiding spot. Again there was no 
use in trying to hide, so I asked for food, going through the 
"pop"-plus-stomach-gesture routine once more. 

They answered "Okay, okay,' 7 and made signs for me to 
stay down, just as that first farmer carrying the baby girl 
had done days before. 

I thought, "Boy, after a long time I'm in luck again." I 
could just taste that rice which would be along in a minute. 
Both youths went back up the path the way they had come. 

The next thing I knew, I heard a terrific commotion, and 
rifle shots started coming over my head. 

This place was an old orchard, all grown over with the 
weeds that sheltered me. When I raised up enough to look, 
I could see that in addition to the paths fanning out from the 
river bank, a wide path higher up paralleled the river some 
distance back. Beyond the path were houses, the village I had 
not been able to see while down in the weeds. Upstream from 
me was a ford across the river. 

When the shooting started, so did a lot of yelling and in 
the end that saved me. My two chums had brought out the 
home guard force in force. Men were already all around me 
in a big half-circle, and all the women and children in the 
world were standing up there on that raised path to watch 
the fun. 

I could hear these men starting to close in toward me and 

The Capture 67 

the river, but it was a funny thing. I guess I was tired or 
something. I went to sleep between close-ins. I'd wake up 
with a start and think, "Dean, you damned fool, you can't 
sleep this way! They'll be on top of you in a minute." Then 
I'd drop off to sleep again. 

But finally I did wake up enough to start crawling. I faded 
back up the stream, beside a fill. These people had known 
where I was when the show started, but they handed me one 
telling advantage, because every time a man in the half-circle 
would take a few steps forward to a new position, he'd yell 
like mad to let everybody know where he was. That helped. 
Once a man yelled just as I was about to crawl toward the 
very spot where he was. I waited, and presently he went on 
past me. 

It was just dumbness on their part, but the fact is I slipped 
through the circle. They were still yelling and closing in, but 
I wasn't there any more. I just got out on the road and walked 
away, not stopping to say good-by. 

I think this date was about August 15. I made good time 
that night, walking about twenty miles. When I didn't have 
anything else to think about, I'd go back to my worrying. I 
still was desperate to get back to our lines and the division, 
but I knew my information that there were far more Com- 
munists on the south flank than anybody thought would be 
too late to do any good. I just wanted to get back into the 

Then I'd worry about my aides and their families, being 
sure in my mind that both Clarke and Bissett were dead by 
this time, their young families fatherless because of me. I 
worried about those families and my own. By this time Mil- 
dred would know not only that I was missing but that chances 
for my return were dwindling. I hoped that some of her 

68 General Dean's Story 

friends would have talked her into leaving Kokura, perhaps 
going to the States or to Puerto Rico to be with June. Much 
later I found this was just what our friends did do, although 
they were not able to convince her to leave Japan until Au- 
gust 15. She was in Puerto Rico when I was captured. 

I also found that my hunch about Bissett had been partially 
correct. As soon as he was sure I would not return he tried 
to get himself assigned to a line company he was an ex- 
enlisted man and always believed that was where a fi^htin^ 
man belonged but another headquarters grabbed him for 
G-i work and never let him go. So he, like Clarke, survived 
the Korean war. 

Sometimes I prayed for these people, as well as for the 
families of Bob Martin, whom I felt I certainly had sent to 
his death, Hatfield, and others I knew or thought were dead. 
These were actual prayers, repeated many times. 

But when I dreamed it was mostly about food. I thought, 
"When I get back to headquarters and a lot of people are 
running around wanting to know what happened, I'll say, 
'Now just a minute and I'll tell you all you want to know 
about it. But first bring me one of those fruit compotes from 
a ten-in-one ration. I want one of those cans of apricots or 
plums, in that thick sugary syrup. Then 111 tell you about 
it.' " I could just see that can of fruit and smell the juice. 

One night I walked in the pouring rain, making wonderful 
time, and found a spot to sleep in some bushes on a hill across 
from a mill and a village. But when day dawned I realized 
that I'd been walking the wrong way all night long. I was so 
disgusted that I took to the hills immediately and walked back 
practically all day. I think I made up most of the distance I'd 
lost during that blind night's hiking. 

The next night I decided to quit fooling around, trying to 

The Capture 69 

follow roads or trails. I'd go right over the mountains and 
ridges to the east. I decided at least to stick to one plan of 
action. I told myself, "Damn it, you're walking in circles, 
you're wasting time. You've got to get back to division. You 
should go straight east until you hit the railroad, then follow 
it south and no matter how tough it is." 

Well, that sounds good, but when you start crossing some 
of that country it's awfully rough. The mountains average 
only a couple of thousand feet in height, but they come right 
up off sea level, not by plateaus, so you have to climb every 
inch of every mountain. 

That same night while I was lying down to rest on a very 
steep trail that went almost straight up the side of a ridge, I 
heard a clatter. Before I even could move a deer jumped right 
over me. If I had raised my head, his hoofs would have 
clipped me. 

One problem up on the ridges was water. Very few have 
any water on them; and where there was a stream the Ko- 
reans had tapped it with an aqueduct to take the water down 
to the rice paddies in the flats. Once I wasted a whole day 
going down to the foot of a ridge to get a drink. At other 
times I'd head for patches of dark foliage, hoping that they 
would indicate a stream or pool, but often I found none when 
I got there. For food, I tried kaffir stalks and grass, both of 
which made me throw up. It was too early in the Korean 
summer for many of the crops to have ripened; and I had no 
weapons with which to catch game in any case, I saw very 
little except some pheasants, and never got a standing shot at 
one of those. I did find one variety of wild berry several 
times. This was a sort of cane berry, somewhat like the 
salmon berry of the Pacific Northwest, without much taste. I 
suppose I ate a hundred of those, all told, while I was in the 

70 General Dean's Story 

mountains. Once I also found a field from which potatoes 
had been dugand located four, each about the size of a wal- 
nut, which the diggers had overlooked. I ate them raw. 

As I grew weaker, my stomach regurgitated even water. 
I kept looking for corn, and could not understand why I 
couldn't find any. I knew it was grown in this part of Korea. 
Later I discovered that in South Korea the corn is almost 
always planted right in the dooryards of the houses, almost 
never in the fields. The same is true of melons and squash, so 
I had no chance to get any of these. Several times I saw the 
rude towers which growers of ginseng root (beloved of the 
Chinese as a tonic that will cure virtually anything from flat 
feet to unripe old age, and also the principal component for 
a 150- or lyo-proof liquor which will blow the top off your 
head) build around their fields for the guards. But the guards 
are unfriendly to practically everybody during the seven 
years the ginseng requires to mature. 

Although I continued to pass many burned houses in the 
mountains, it was not until August 19 that I finally found one 
lone house far up in the mountains and intact. I spotted this 
good-looking structure in the night; but I knew there seldom 
was any use asking for food at a Korean house between meals. 
With no refrigeration or other storage for cooked foods, they 
simply don't have anything to eat except when the family 
meal is being cooked. 

I flopped down in a path about two hundred yards from 
this house and slept. 

In the morning I was awakened by another man carrying 
a little girl on his back. These fathers carrying small daugh- 
ters were my luck charms, I guess. I asked for food and my 
luck was in. He led me back to the house and the whole fam- 
ily came out to greet me. The man turned out to be the eldest 

The Capture 7 1 

brother, about thirty-four. The family Included another mar- 
ried brother, about thirty-two, their wives and children, and 
two younger single brothers, twenty-two and eighteen. 

They brought food out to me right in the yard rice and 
pork fat. I don't know what happens to the lean part of pigs 
in rural Korea, but the only part ever served by the country 
people is the fat. I ate this ravenously, although I never had 
cared for any kind of fat (much of my youth had been spent 
in arguments with my elders about the amount of it I left 
on my plate In Carlyle, Illinois) . 

With signs I then told the brothers that I wished to stay 
there four days. I'd lost weight and was terribly weak. I 
said to myself, "If I can just have four days Fll be all 
right. Just give me four days of rest, and I'll make it." I 
thought I had put over the idea and that they had agreed. 

These people had an unusually nice house, and I was led 
to a lean-to, built against the back of it. But this lean-to was 
filled with flies, just infested with flies, thousands of them. 
Nevertheless I lay down on the mud floorand fought flies. 
I stayed only five minutes. Then I had to crawl to the door 
and throw up everything I'd eaten. This was August 20, and 
the food was the first since July 25 or 26. 1 guess the pork fat 
was just too much for a stomach ignored so long. 

At noon the family gave me more rice and some kimchee 
(fermented cabbage, with garlic). Again I threw it up. All 
of them were quite concerned about me. That afternoon I 
noticed some chickens in the yard, pointed to them, and tried 
to indicate by signs that I wanted some eggs. The family mis- 
understood (the most fortunate misunderstanding on record) 
and instead killed one of the chickens. The result was some 
of the best chicken soup I've ever eaten, full of potatoes and 
rich with chicken fat. This I kept down. And the next day 

72 General Dean's Story 

I kept down all three meals, each of which consisted of rice, 

roasted corn, and potatoes. 

From the beginning 1 could tell that the second brother 
wasn't enthusiastic about having me there. In a combination 
of a few words of Korean and sign language he kept talking 
about the Inmun Gun, and appeared very much surprised 
when I indicated I had no desire to see any members of the 
Communist Army. It's possible that up until that time he had 
thought I was a Russian, but afterward he was increasingly 
nervous. On the second day the two brothers brought up an 
old man to look me over. He was a smiling old fellow, ap- 
parently friendly, but the Inmun Gun kept coming up en- 
tirely too often in their conversation. I thought he was some 
old harabachie (grandfather, literally) whom they'd brought 
from a neighboring town to give them advice about me. I 
also thought the signs were bad. I gave my watch (which 
wouldn't work) to the younger brother, and my billfold 
(minus an insert with my identification in it) and my foun- 
tain pen to the elder brother, to buy the remainder of that 
four days of food and rest. 

That evening the bad news came. The elder brother, still 
kindly, nevertheless told me I would have to go. Evidently he 
was afraid that they'd all be shot if the Communists found 
me there, and perhaps he was right. I didn't feel that any of 
these people loved the Inmun Gun especially, but they un- 
doubtedly were afraid of it and wantedlike most Koreans 
to keep out of trouble at any cost. The elder brother had been 
in Muju when our aircraft bombed that town, and he demon- 
strated to me how terrible it had been: "Oo urnphh, umphh, 

Previously I had asked directions to several different towns, 
trying not to give out too much information about where I 

The Capture 73 

actually was trying to go. So on this night the elder brother 
gave me four ears of parched corn and some rice wrapped in 
a cloth and led me out on a path about half a mile from the 
house. There he left me. 

It was a black night. 1 couldn't see; and perhaps in reaction 
I was more tired than I'd been before. I'd taken only a few 
steps before I stepped into a hole and fell on my face. I man- 
aged to get about fifty yards farther, then just dropped down 
in the trail and went to sleep. I wasn't especially low in rny 
mind, just tired. 

I could tell when this man left me that he felt I wasn't going 
to make it. I could tell by his look that he thought, "You poor 
bastard, you're finished." 

But I thought, "Well, you sad character, you just don't 
know. I'm going to surprise you. I am going to make it." 

The elder brother had showed me the direction toward the 
main road and had said "Taegu" often enough so I got the 
idea that this was the proper route to that town, seventy miles 
away as the crow flies. But I didn't worry about it the rest of 
the night. 

In the morning a highly important event occurred. Dean's 
digestion began to work again, all the way. I've always 
thought of this as the day of the great passage, although for a 
while I thought it also might be my last. I was still being 
happy about the whole thing when the second brother and 
one of the younger ones, out to gather wood, found me and 
they weren't at all happy about the fact that I still was only 
half a mile from their house. They led me another half a mile 
along the trail to make absolutely sure I was headed right 
and going away. We were far up in the mountains, and they 
took me to a spot from which we could look out and see in 
the distance a valley at least ten miles away, with a highway 

74 General Dean's Story 

running down It. Very carefully the second brother showed 
me the routes to Muju, to Chinan, to Taegu. He wanted me 
to get away, almost anywhere, but away. You might think this 
is difficult to convey when neither person speaks a word of the 
other's language, but he managed. 

I went on alone again. Frankly I never did find the road he 
had pointed out. But long before I came even close to It I 
did find more food. As I was walking along the trail I heard 
a commotion ahead. I slipped up for a look- and there was a 
whole gang of youngsters, twelve to sixteen years old, all 
beating peach trees In the orchard of a burned-out house. 
They were whaling the trees and of course knocked down 
and took away all the good peaches. After they left I managed 
to fill my pockets with the culls wizened, half -ripe, and the 
size of walnuts, but food nonetheless. Then rain began again. 
I spent the night in the shelter of a piece of corrugated Iron 
which had not collapsed when the shack was burned. 

After that I began to make time toward the east. I walked 
all through the daylight hours of August 23, ate my parched 
com, and felt so good that I walked all night too. I found an- 
other orchard and again filled my pockets with peaches, rested 
a while, then took off again, walking all the afternoon of 
August 24. That evening I hit a main highway. In the woods 
above it I rested until it was dark enough to start walking the 
road. I think I made twenty or twenty-five miles that night, 
and the only interruptions were when I had to hide out now 
and then to let groups of highway workers pass me on their 
way home. Fifty men were in one group, sixty-five in another. 
I just lay In a ditch and let them go by. 

Early In the morning, following the hairpin turns of the 
highway, I saw a big village ahead. Evidently this was a par- 
ticularly good farming area, because there were stables, barns, 

The Capture 75 

and silos, In addition to the shacks common to most villages. 
I couldn't Imagine what the people were raising, but I took 
no chances and made a big swing around the town. 

But again I walked too long. Daylight caught me just oppo- 
site another village, on a brand-new, improved road, which I 
was sure must have been built with EGA money from the 
United States. I thought, "Well, these people should be as 
favorable to us as any Koreans, having had all this built for 
them." So I wasn't too much worried when daylight caught 
me. I just went off the road and up into some brush under 
chestnut trees, a spot from which I could see the village, less 
than half a mile away. 

For quite a while previously I had been bothered by the 
decreasing number of our aircraft In the skies, and had long 
since abandoned my early dream that a plane would one day 
fly low enough to see me wave. For days none had been even 
close, although after my repatriation I learned from Lieuten- 
ant General Earle E. Partridge that he personally had spent 
long hours flying over the very area where I was wandering, 
searching for me from a light (AT-G) training plane. But 
he was doing most of that flying during the daylight hours 
when I was asleep. 

While I rested under the chestnut trees my spirits were ris- 
ing. I figured that I could walk the hundred and twenty miles 
to Pusan in ten days on the strength my two-day rest had 
given rue. I was confident I'd be able to last through it. And 
there was one new wonderfully reassuring factor. Away over 
to the east I could hear the rumble of artillery definitely 
guns, not bombing. I had not heard this since we'd left Tae- 
jon, so it was like hearing from an old friend. 

"Fm on my way back," I thought. "I'm going to make it." 

I slept fairly well during the morning. In the afternoon an 

7 6 General Dean's Story 

old man and some boys came through the chestnut grove, 
carrying little pint-sized sickles with which to cut brush. 
They saw me. Once again I worked my system, asking for 
food. I thought, "Well, damn it, things are breaking my way 
now. I've been well fed and I'm on my way back. Everything 
favors me, so I'll just continue to ride my luck." 

The old man smiled as if we were long-time friends and 
gestured toward the village. I rose and boldly marched down 
that new highway to the first house. The village was a one- 
street affair, with the street at right angles to the highway, and 
I stopped at the house that had the highway right beside it. 

The man of the house was in the back yard, making straw 
shoes. His wife and children were watching. I made signs for 

..' O 

food and got vigorous and friendly affirmative nods. The 
woman had no rice ready but put some on to boil. While I 
waited for it to cook the householder went right ahead mak- 
ing straw slippers. When he completed one he would put it 
on and dance around in the yard to show me how good it was. 
The children laughed, the shoemaker laughed, and so did I. 
This was my lucky day. 

Then the woman brought out the rice, with garlic beads 
as a side dish. It was delicious. I ate all I was given and asked 
for more to wrap in my handkerchief. 

I left there about five o'clock, and had gone only a short 
distance along the highway when a short little Korean passed 
me, hiking along as if he were going to a fire. He got about 
twenty feet ahead, then suddenly stopped, waited for me to 
catch up, and walked along beside rne without saying a word. 
Just to break the silence I started asking him the route to 
Taegu and other towns in other directions. When we sat 
down to rest at a bridge he picked up some rocks and in 
the dust marked the routes to Taegu, Pusan, and Chonju. 

The Capture 77 

Although he spoke no English we managed to understand 
each other. I was still trying to cover up a little about where 
I intended to go, but I was beginning to be impressed with 
him. I made him the same offer Fd made back in the village 
before I lost Tabora million won to guide me to Taegu. 

He sold me. I thought he understood everything. I asked 
him where the Inmun Gun was, and he told me they were at 
Chlnan. He intimated that I shouldn't worry, everything 
would be okay he would take me right past the Inniun Gun. 
I don't know how I got all that without any English, but I 
did, or so I thought. I was sure that's what he was trying to 
tell me. 

We went farther down the road and came to a river where 
bombing had knocked out a bridge. He pointed that out, 
laughed as though he thought it exceptionally funny, and 
said, "Pi-yang-gi" (airplane). He seemed pleased that the 
bombing had been so good. 

To ford the stream I had to take off my coveralls. I un- 
dressed fully. He offered to carry my pistol for me, but I 
didn't let him. 

When we reached the far bank and I had dressed again, we 
climbed up the bank and there was trouble waiting for us, 
A village came right to the river at this point, and waiting for 
us was practically the full manpower of the village, ten or 
fifteen men in native clothes and all armed with clubs or 
spears. They'd seen us crossing and were waiting for us. The 
man in front, carrying a club, had an especially ferocious ex- 
pression on his face and motioned to me to go back, that I 
couldn't even go through their village. 

Well, I didn't want to undress again and cross that river a 
second time. I pulled my pistol from the holster and pointed 
it at them. As I walked toward them, making threatening 

7 8 General Dean's Story 

motions with the pistol, the whole group backed away slowly. 

Meanwhile the little Korean by my side kept jabbering to 
them, and I had the definite impression that his talk had more 
to do with their retreat than my pistol. I thought, "He's fast- 
talking them." Still with their clubs and spears but just stand- 
ing there and not doing anything about it, the whole gang let 
us go through the town. 

Before we had gone more than a fraction of a mile a second 
Korean caught up with us. I realize now that this was the same 
ferocious-looking character who had been at the head of the 
village mob, but at the time I failed to recognize him without 
his club. He seemed to be great pals with Han, the man who 
was guiding me; and Han made me understand that this new 
chum was "okay, okay." We three walked down the road to- 
gether until we reached a bend. 

Han said suddenly, "Inmun Gun!" and signaled to me to 
get down. 

I thought, "Boy, this is bad. There's something around this 
corner." I jumped into some bushes beside the road, holding 
my pistol ready. 

Han went on ahead but came back in a few minutes, say- 
ing, "Okay, okay." 

"This boy is all right," I thought. "This is working out 

We went ahead, and around the bend found fifty or a hun- 
dred Korean civilians filling holes in the road. This was a big 
project, really a major industry, and they all were working 
fast, although I saw nobody with guns keeping them at it. We 
walked right past, just as if we all had a perfect right to use 
the highway. Some of them looked up, but no one said any- 
thing or interfered with us. 

The Capture 79 

When we came to another bend a little farther on we went 
through the same routine the Inmun Gun! warning, Dean 
jumping into the bushes with his pistol, then an okay and an- 
other stroll right past a working party. This time I noticed 
two men with rifles, and there was an uncomfortable feeling 
along my spine when we turned our backs to them. But again 
nothing happened. 

I thought, "This Han is a pretty good boy. He is going to 
take me through." But he did a couple of strange things, 
which should have warned me. One was walking so fast. He 
walked as if he were going to a fire, and I couldn't keep up 
with him. Finally I just sat down. I said, "All right, you peo- 
ple go ahead." But they both stopped with me, and Han tried 
to explain. He indicated that he was hungry and wanted to 
eat before we reached Chinan. It was getting late in the eve- 
ning, and we had walked about eight miles, at full speed. 

When we started again, however, we went only a short 
distance, then turned into a house beside the road. I under- 
stood that Han wanted to stop there for food. Once inside, 
they served us sake, but only a plate of garlic beads for food. 
I took one little glass of the liquor but ate all the garlic beads 
they brought. The people in the house wanted me to take 
more sake, and Han too urged it on me. I should have been 
warned by this. I did think, "What are these people trying to 
do? Get me drunk?" But my thinking didn't go any further 
than that. 

While we were sitting in the house, and after a lot of con- 
versation, a third man joined us. He walked along with us 
when we left. At the next bend we did the same routine a 
third time, with two men going ahead and one staying in the 
ditch with me. The stumbling block ahead was a small town, 

8o General Dean's Story 

not a road crew. The two scouts finally came back and gave 

us the okay. We walked right through the town. 

Just as we got on the other side of town there was some 
yelling behind us. I got out of sight while Han and his second 
friend went to talk, this time to our rear. Then Han called 
something to the fellow who had stayed with me (Little 
Ferocious, who had led the village gang), and he motioned 
rne to come out. I did, once more putting my pistol back in 
the holster, then sitting dow r n on the edge of the road. The 
road was on a cut above a stream, and we hung our feet over 
the edge. The night was warm and there was bright moon- 

All of a sudden, around a corner from the village came 
about fifteen men, and somebody fired a rifle over our heads. 
I reached for my pistol and got my hand on it, but the little 
devil sitting beside me grabbed my wrist with both his hands. 

I struggled to my feet, with him still hanging on, but I 
couldn't get the gun out. I fell in the dirt, he with me, and we 
rolled around in the road as I tried to get him over to the edge 
of the cut again, to kick him down toward the river. I thought 
the fall would break his hold, even if we both went over, and 
I'd have a chance. 

But the gang had only about twenty-five feet to rush us, 
and before I could get this character to the edge they were 
on top of us. About three rifle barrels were on my head, and 
as we wrestled around, they- kept bumping me. It was very 

They were all yelling, and I suppose they were telling me 
to surrender, but I kept on fighting with this fellow who had 
a hold on my arm, and trying to kick somebody where he'd 
never forget it. But he never let go. I yelled, u Shoot! Shoot, 
you sons of bitches! Shoot!" 

The Capture 81 

I remember thinking, "This is an ignominious way to have 
your lights put out, but this is it." 

Then they were twisting at my arms. There were several 
of them doing it, and they weren't easy with it. They had 
both my arms twisted, and that shoulder of mine really hurt- 
but no physical pain hurt so much as the thought, "Well, these 
miserable devils have you as a prisoner." 

They tied both hands behind me with sashcord, pulled so 
tightly that the circulation was cut off, then jerked me to my 
feet and shoved me back toward the town we'd just passed. 
I still thought there was no use in being a prisoner. I tried to 
run. I wanted them to shoot me. But I was so weak that I 
made only a yard or so before somebody danced up and 
shoved me from behind so that I fell on my face again. They 
all laughed. 

As they pulled me up I said, "I can't walk." They kept 
shoving me, but I wouldn't walk. My shoulder hurt too much, 
and those bonds on rny hands. I indicated I wouldn't move so 
long as they had my hands tied that way, and this must have 
confused them. At any rate they finally took the ropes off 

Then we all marched toward the police station. Han was 
standing there beside the door, looking pleased with himself, 
and so were the other two whom I had thought were helping 
me. I did wish I could have one last kick at a couple of them,, 
but there was no chance. In the station somebody searched 
me. I had niy identification tags, some cards in the part of my 
billfold I hadn't given away (I still have the same A.G.O. 
card, which was given back to me eventually), an immuniza- 
tion register, and some snapshots of my son and daughter. 
They took all these, and one character reached into my shirt 
pocket. I wear a partial denture, but my mouth had been 

82 General Dean's Story 

hurting so that I had been carrying this denture in my pocket. 

About the only smart thing I did that night was to grab that 
denture, just as the searcher took it out of my pocket, and pop 
it into my mouth where it belonged. That denture had been 
painful; but I never put it in any faster and never mind the 
pain. I knew that if anybody ever had time to see how much 
gold was in it I'd never get it back. 

While they were searching me I was standing in front of a 
desk, and behind the desk a Korean calendar with Arabic 
numerals hung on a wall. I pointed to it, and one of the men 
put his finger on the figure twenty-five. 

It was the twenty-fifth of August, my wedding anniver- 

Three years later, in September 1953, Han Doo Kyoo, 
aged forty, and Choi Chong Bong, twenty-four, were ar- 
rested by South Korean police and accused as my betrayers. 
Police said the pair received the equivalent of five dollars for 
turning me in to the Commies. On January 12, 1954, both 
defendants were convicted. Although the prosecutor had 
asked only five-year prison terms for them, the judge sen- 
tenced Choi to death and Han to life imprisonment. I had 
previously written to President Rhee, asking clemency for 
the two men if they were convicted, but the trial judge de- 
clared the court had not received any official notice of my 
request. Their defense statements indicated that they had in- 
tended to take me through to United Nations lines but ran 
into so much trouble in getting me past the various barriers 
that they decided they should turn me in to prevent my death 
in a hopeless fight. Having had no method of communicating 
accurately with them at any time, Fm simply not in a position 
to guess whether this might have been true. I did not feel that 
further punishment of these men would accomplish anything. 


Small from Texas 

I spent that night In a cage quite literally. 

This object, sitting In a corner of the main room at the 
police station, was about four feet long and the same height, 
but built like the letter L that Is, the high portion was only 
large enough for my head and shoulders. I could sit in one 
position with my knees drawn up slightly but could not lie 
down or stand up. This was nothing they had dreamed up 
especially for my benefit, but equipment of much age and fre- 
quent usage. I suppose they ordinarily kept the town drunk 
in it on his bad nights. 

I made one horrible mistake that night and learned one 
important lesson. The mistake was to take off my combat 
boots. After I'd been in the cage for a while I pulled them off. 
One had chafed my foot until my instep was infected and 
had been bothering me for a couple of weeks; also, they 
smelled awful. I made signs to the guards that I'd like to have 
the boots set outside to air. Frankly, I didn't want to smell 
them in my cell. 

This suggestion was greeted with startled enthusiasm. If 
those people could have spoken perfect English, they couldn't 
have said more plainly, "Boots? Oh, my goodness, that's some- 
thing we overlooked." They took them out of the cage, and 
somebody else had them on within five minutes and I didn't 


84 General Dean's Story 

have any boots thereafter. I realized my own dumbness almost 

immediately, but too late to do anything about it. 

The lesson was provided by two North Korean Army pay- 
masters, who arrived shortly after I was brought in. They 
came with bundles of won notes and spent the whole night 
doling out piles of money to the local officials. Each gun-soo 
(corresponding to town or county officials) evidently had 
provided a hundred men for work on the roads, and this was 
the big pay-off. The thing which struck me was that every- 
body was happy, and there was no resentment. These officers 
were just two Santa Clauses corne to town, and nobody mind- 
ed at all. The key to their success was an apparently unlim- 
ited supply of currency. 

It was perfectly obvious to me, then and later, that the way 
for an occupying army to gain favor with a local population, 
especially a population of the same blood, is to pay well for 
everything it gets, spreading money around. It was easy for 
the Communists in this case because they had captured the 
South Korean government's currency plates in Seoul, and it 
was merely a printing press problem; but the lesson is one that 
can be applied to any army, including our own. 

The point is, I never saw the Inmun Gun steal anything 
outright, although the theft may actually have been just as 
bad as any in the long run. When a soldier wanted a farmer's 
peach he always paid for it. He went out and bought it. So 
even when the currency turned out to be worthless, that 
individual soldier was not the target of the farmer's wrath. 

All night long the two officers dished out the money, then 
folded up their briefcases and left just before dawn. Inci- 
dentally, neither of these paymasters showed the slightest 
interest in me, nor, for that matter, did the local officials. 
None of these people spoke English; and apparently no one 

A Small Boy from Texas 85 

guessed that the dirty old man in the cage was a propaganda 
prize because of the accident of military rank. 

Han, the man who had turned me in, had come into the 
police station when I was taken in, and he stayed there all 
night. I didn't see him do any more talking. A couple of 
times in the early evening he smiled at me, as if he had done 
me a big favor. But it's always hard to tell what a Korean 
means by a laugh. Those youngsters who had shoved me 
down in the road when I tried to run had laughed, but I'm 
not sure it was sadism. It could have been embarrassment, or 
any number of things. I've seen Koreans laugh when a dog 
was being tortured to death. It would be hard to tell the 
difference between that laugh and the one Clarence Rhee 
used to let out when he was reading Korean newspapers to me 
as military governor. He was an official of the government 
and a patriotic man but whenever one of the newspaper 
stories was exceptionally bad news, he'd laugh. I never could 
figure it out. It's on a par with their feeling about death: 
that to kill a man isn't too serious but to mutilate his body is 
terrible. Rhee, for example, never seemed affected by stories 
of guerrillas killing constabulary or farmers, but if the man's 
head had been cut off after death he was horrified. 

So I don't know what Han's nervous little smile meant 
there in the police station. He stayed quietly in a corner all 
night, and left in the early morning. I never saw him again. 

A guard brought me breakfast shortly after dawn. I was 
allowed to get out of the cell and eat at a table. The meal 
was excellentrice, soup, and kimchee. Then I was put back 
into the cell and stayed there until nine or ten o'clock. When 
they hauled me out a second time I could see I was about to 
be moved. I demanded my boots but I didn't get them. 
Somebody did bring me a pair of Korean rubber shoes not 

86 General Dean's Story 

mates, and both with holes in the soles the size of pancakes. 
They were too short, and when I tried to walk they came 
off. I made noises of complaint, so finally one fellow folded 
newspapers to make insoles, then brought some straw rope 
and tied the shoes to my feet. 

My escort consisted of one Korean youngster, in an Inmun 
Gun uniform and armed with a long rifle, and a civilian carry- 
ing a briefcase. The civilian had a bicycle; the soldier and I 
walked. The little town where I was captured was Sang] on- 
myon; and we started toward Chinan, only a short distance 
away. But the walk took more than an hour, because my feet 
hurt so much that I had to stop at frequent intervals. The 
man on the bicycle got impatient, but the soldier was a pleas- 
ant youngster, showed no evidence of being rough, and let 
me stop whenever I needed a rest. 

The one thing I noticed especially was that my guard was 
quite a hero to all the small children we met on the way. 
Whenever we passed a group he would say a phrase to them 
and the children would reply in chorus. It sounded like 
"Chosen-all," which I assumed must be some Communist slo- 
gan about a united Korea, because they all knew it and re- 
peated it with enthusiasm. Often the children would start 
singing a marching air, which I was to hear thousands of times 
the Inmun Gun song. I thought, "Boy, these Communists 
have done a job of indoctrinating these youngsters." They 
were delighted with the soldier, but not even interested in a 

In Chinan I was taken to a house apparently being used 
as a company headquarters. A cheerful young captain already 
was busily cleaning my pistol. He dropped that job and came 
over to try to talk to me. It wasn't a great success since he 
spoke not a single word of English. However, I could tell 

A Small Boy from Texas 87 

that he was asking If I was hungry, and when I nodded he 
immediately ordered up food for me-a bowl of boiled pork 
fat. After the walk I ate this like candy, and the captain was 
so pleased that he sent out for a bag of ginger cookies, which 
he paid for himself. I tried to share these with him and the 
two lieutenants also in the headquarters, but none of them 
would take any. So I just ate and ate; and the captain was as 
pleased as a child who succeeds in getting a puppy to eat. To 
top off my meal he brought me some apples. 

Two women in uniform also were In the house, and I 
could see that one of them was some sort of political Instruc- 
tor. All the soldiers gathered, and she held a class for them. 
I was pleased, in a backward sort of way, when an air-raid 
alarmthey used a series of rifle shots and a bell interrupted 
the instruction and everybody had to run for cover in door- 
ways. I was moved to a seat in a closet doorway. The planes 
went on past Chinan, without bombing or strafing. When 
they had passed the political class was resumed. 

I was moved twice more during the day, first to a police 
station, then to another building, which might have been a 
rice warehouse or garage. This was some sort of registration 
point, with people coming and going constantly. I was left 
sitting by myself In a comer, under guard, for a long time. 
Up In a parklike area above the warehouse I could hear drill- 
ing and counting off all afternoon, as if local youths were 
being drilled by the Inmun Gun in close order. It seemed like 
a very long time for close-order drill to last, but they kept it 
up. Once again I was struck by the fact that If the people of 
South Korea resented the northern invaders, they certainly 
weren't showing it. To me, the civilian attitude appeared to 
veer between enthusiasm and passive acceptance. I saw no 
sign of resistance or any will to resist. 

88 General Dean's Story 

Nobody showed any further interest in me until about 
seven o'clock in the evening, when I was taken out to a truck 
packed with Korean civilians, obviously prisoners. They were 
mostly men, but with some women. I was pushed toward the 
center of the mob, and there I wedged myself down. I had 
not yet learned to sit cross-legged comfortably. I put my feet 
out in front of me, and that was a bad mistake. People sat on 
my feet and insteps, others on my legs and knees. Knees 
jabbed into my back and ribs, which still ached, and pushed 
against my sore shoulder. 

Very few words were spoken, none to me. Three or four 
guards clung to the sides of the truck, with one foot in and 
one outand thirty-seven people were jammed between them. 
I didn't get a good look at the truck, but it was about the 
size of one of our two-and-a-half -ton vehicles, and may even 
have been one of ours. None of the people showed any emo- 
tion whatever. As we started out I saw a road sign in English: 
"Chonju- 7 8 miles." 

But we still weren't fully loaded. About ten miles out of 
Chinan the truck stopped beside a rice paddy. Across the 
dikes came a line of men with their wrists bound, and roped 
together. This single file of prisoners climbed right in on top 
of the rest of us. Twenty more had managed to get in when 
I lost count, but I think there were at least twice that num- 
ber. It was impossible for every one of them to touch the 
bottom of the truck; they were piled on top of the rest of us 
like bags of grain. 

The truck ground ahead again, but fortunately for us 
(otherwise somebody surely would have smothered) the load 
was too heavy. The vehicle faltered and stalled on a hill, and 
the guards took oif some of that last chain gang. With the 
remainder, we bumped on into Chonju, arriving in the middle 

A Small Boy from Texas 89 

of the night just as a flight of our bombers unloaded on one 
end of the town near the railroad tracks. 

We were ordered out of the truck in front of the police 
station when the bombing started. I was singled out from the 
other prisoners and hustled to protection in the archway of 
a school or church in one of the mission compounds. When 
my guard finally brought me back, past a mission hospital, 
we met townspeople carrying two litters with a woman and 
a child on them. Both were bloody masses. 

We got back on the truck and drove through the other 
end of town, passing a group of houses still smoking from 
the bombs while civilians poked through the wreckage, look- 
ing for other victims. I don't know what the objective of this 
bombing was, but the railroad, a spur line, was unhurt. 

We were taken to the provincial penitentiary, which I 
remembered having inspected when I was military governor. 
(There was irony in this.) This was now an improved insti- 
tution, with at least two new cell blocks. All the prisoners 
were lined up; and each of us was made to turn out his pock- 
ets and put all his belongings in front of him on the ground. 
I had nothing left except a handkerchief and a few cookies 
which the Inmun Gun captain had given me. While an in- 
specting party was working down the line I ate the cookies, 
and they let me keep the handkerchief when I put up an 
argument about it although I was arguing in English and 
nobody understood a word. The prisoners were counted off 
in twenties, and each group moved separately toward the cell 
blocks. The count didn't come out even, so I was led off by 
myself to a twenty-man cell, the most commodious I'd ever 
seen in a Korean prison, with a nice smooth floor and twenty 
little wooden pillows lined up along one side. The guards 
locked the door, and I picked out a pillow. 

90 General Dean's Story 

As a policeman back in Berkeley, California, many years 
before, I'd made a few arrests and watched the people taken 
off to cells to spend the night. But this was the first time in 
my life that I'd been on the other end of the story. I slept 

There was no sound in the prison during the night, no 
weeping, no noise, from the many prisoners. Bombers came 
over again, and I did a little hoping that they might hit this 
lovely brick building, so close to the railroad yards; but they 
didn't even score a near miss just a lot of racket. I could not 
hear any anti-aircraft fire. 

In the morning the aperture in the cell door opened and 
a guard shoved in a little tin bowl of rice; just as I was about 
to eat it he indicated I should thrust it outside again, and 
some grass soup was poured over it. The rice might have 
been all right, but that grass soup was the most sickening stuff 
I've ever tasted. As hungry as I was, I could only pick at it. 

Later that morning the first of the questions came to me. 
A guard handed in a pencil and a printed form, which asked 
my name, rank, organization, what my orders were, where 
I'd landed in Korea and where was Syngman Rhee? 

They already had my identification card and tags, so there 
was no point in trying to hide my identity. I put down my 
name and rank and as for orders, I wrote: "To assist the 
Republic of Korea in repelling the aggressors from the 

I knew full well that I didn't have to answer that or any 
similar questions, but I figured the answer would make the 
Communists mad and at the moment I wanted to do just that. 

After about an hour guards came and took me to the com- 
mandant's office. The commandant was rather a handsome 
man, wearing North Korean Army blue breeches and black 

A Small Boy from Texas 9 1 

boots, but a white shirt and a civilian coat. He needed a shave 
badly, and had the only green eyes I've ever seen in a Korean. 
Somehow they reminded me of a tiger's eyes. He was friendly 
and apologetic for having put me in a cell. An interpreter was 
present, a chap with long hair and in need of a shave even 
more than the commandant. He told me the commandant 
had no idea, when I was brought in, that I was an officer, but 
that he would make up for his oversight. He'd bring me a 
barber, give me a chance to wash, and secure some decent 
clothes. I would have to go back to my cell temporarily, but 
they'd prepare another room, give me better meals and the 
courtesies due my rank. Then he also asked a question: Where 
was Syngman Rhee? 

This was question number one of some thousands which 
were to be asked, and it made no more and no less sense than 
most of them. Always, question and long-winded statement 
were closely related. The commandant said, "Your family 
and your countrymen are concerned about you. You must go 
on the radio and tell your family that you are well and being 
well treated, and tell your people that there is no use in con- 
tinuing the war. Tell them the people of South Korea have 
welcomed us as their brothers. You must do this for the sake 
of your family and friends, and to save the lives of your 

There was much more of the same sort of thing. I said I 
wouldn't go on the radio, and that nobody would believe any 
such statement even if I did make it. I don't remember my 
exact answers to some of his questions; but frankly I was just 
indulging myself. I was trying to be as sarcastic as possible, 
for my own amusement, not to make these characters laugh. 
This was one time I didn't have to be careful. The things I'd 
never say normally, for fear of hurting someone's feelings, 

92 General Dean's Story 

sounded terrifically witty to me now. I said I didn't have the 
faintest idea where the president of South Korea was; and 
when I was asked why we had come to Korea, I embroidered 
my written statement. I said we had come to help South 
Korea repel the aggressors from the North, who had violated 
South Korean national territory, that it was our duty as a 
member of the United Nations to assist in repelling that inva- 
sion, that the free world looked to us I gave him quite a 

He said, "Well, now you can see how your forces have 
been driven back. So if you were released, would you con- 
tinue to fight us?" 

I said, "Yes, that's what I want to do. That's why I've been 
trying to get back, so I could fight again. I know I can do 
better next time, and kill more of you for the men we 

He didn't care for that. Finally he said, "General, you're 
a brave man, but you're very ignorant politically." 

That ended the political part of the discussion, but he 
couldn't resist a little something personal. He said, "I've seen 
you before, general, even if you don't remember me. I was 
a political prisoner right in this same prison when you in- 
spected it as military governor. But I'm going to treat you 
better than you treated me." 

As military governor I had been technically in charge of 
South Korean prisons, but did not control immediate opera- 
tions, which were handled by Koreans under the advice and 
supervision of Americans. I don't think that the treatment as 
a whole was bad, although some things possibly seemed worse 
to the Koreans than to me. I remember that on one prison 
inspection trip I was pleased by the number of beans mixed 
with the rice being fed to prisoners, but my interpreter, 

A Small Boy from Texas 93 

Klmmy Kim, was affected just the other way. He said, "I 
hope I never get put In prison." 

Prisons were overcrowded at that time, however, and I 
was very much disturbed when I found out how many people 
were being held for long periods without being brought to 
trial. In April of 1948 I had pardoned more than thirty-five 
hundred at one time because I found that some of them had 
been incarcerated for as long as eighteen months without trial, 
and charged only with talking against the government, or 
opposing rice collections. In the bad food days in Korea 
rations for prisoners were larger than those for civilians, 
because we expected the prisoners to work. 

We were only partially successful in raising the standards, 
and we never had enough U. S. personnel to be positive that 
all our orders were being carried out; but we were trying. 
And, of course, I was responsible, as military governor, for 
any bad treatment that occurred. That's one of the things you 
accept when you take a job of that sort. 

The prison commandant also gave me some information, 
which I believe was honest, so far as he was concerned. We 
had lost Taegu, he said, and the fall of Pusan to the Commu- 
nists was only a matter of hours. I think the captain in Chinan 
had tried to give me the same information, without benefit of 
interpreter. The commandant was quite confident that we 
were being swept off the whole Korean peninsula. 

I was confused. It was true that Pd seen fewer and fewer 
airplanes in the previous couple of weeks; but the informa- 
tion didn't check with the artillery fire I was sure I had heard 
on the last day of my freedom. I didn't know what to think. 

At last, the commandant dismissed me to go to get my 
shower, the promised shave and haircut and some very care- 
fully posed before-and-after photo coverage. The interpreter 

94 General Dean's Story 

said, "You'll be amazed to see the difference." I don't doubt 
that I would have, if I had ever seen the pictures. I wish I had 
them now. 

Before the "after" picture was made I was given a very 
much patched pair of American olive drab trousers and a sun- 
tan shirt to replace my coveralls. The fact that both were 
clean made them seem wonderful, old as they were; and I 
noticed that the size fifteen shirt collar fit me very well, 
although my normal neck measurement is sixteen and a half. 
The barber who did the job on my hair and beard was only 
about fourteen years old, but he knew his business. And I 
was delighted to get that shave. I'd caught a glimpse of myself 
in a mirror that morning and had realized that I probably was 
the ugliest man in the world with a month's beard. From my 
left chin it comes out black, but is white off the right side. In 
the middle it's just bare. 

During this washing and shaving I saw the interpreter 
going down a hallway and a guard was with him. When I 
asked later, he admitted that he too was a prisoner. He said 
he had been an employee of our military government in 
Taejon, in an official capacity, and would be tried for having 
cooperated with the Americans and for being a reactionary. 

"What are they going to do?" I asked. "Shoot you?" 

He shook his head. "No, they're going to give me a trial. 
Fm sure it will be fair. I think I'll be freed, because I now see 
my mistakes." He added that he had been well treated in 
prison and that his wife was allowed to visit him. He also said 
that Eun Suk Koo, former South Korean chief of communi- 
cations, was in the same prison; and later the same day, in a 
hallway, he introduced me, but we had no time to talk. All I 
could do was wish both of them luck. 

The interpreter appeared to be quite sincere about his 

A Small Boy from Texas 95 

change of viewpoint and gave me a considerable lecture about 
the fact that the future of Korea lay only in unification under 
communism. He also said he thought I would see the light, 
once I had some political education. 

I was taken to a cottage outside the prison compound, 
where there was a U. S. white army cot with a mattress, 
pillows, and sheets and where even the inside plumbing 
worked, rarest phenomenon in all Korea. A woman brought in 
an excellent noon meal, with meat, and I had some rest before 
I was called back to the commandant's office that afternoon. 

This time five or six men in civilian clothes were present, 
in addition to the commandant and the interpreter, I thought 
I had seen some of those faces before. The questions started 
immediately, and the first was, "How can you prove that 
you're General Dean?" 

I said, "I have no desire to prove that I'm General Dean." 

The next was, "Why did the Americans come over here?" 

Again I said, "To help the people of South Korea to retain 
their national integrity and to protect them from the aggres- 
sors from the North." 

Then they shot a whole series of questions at me: "Why 
do the Americans bomb innocent women and children?" 
"Why do they bomb children in swimming?" "Why do they 
bomb farmers along the highways and kill their cattle?" I 
answered all these questions by saying that Americans never 
knowingly harm women, children, or noncombatants; but this 
didn't even slow up the flow of questions. The next was, 
"Why do Americans prey on schoolhouses and churches?" 

I said, "The only reason a church or a schoolhouse is ever 
struck is when it is evident from the air that the Inmun Gun 
is using those buildings as Army installations, especially as 
command posts." 

96 General Dean's Story 

They wanted to know, "How do you account for so many 
women and children being killed?" 

I gave as one of the reasons that the Communists brought 
military operations right in amongst civilians, into cities, and 
were using all sorts of buildings for military purposes. 

Then my principal questioner said, "We won't discuss that 
any more." 

These fellows also wanted to know the whereabouts of 
Syngman Rhee but instead of listening to my answer, told 
me themselves. "You ought to know that your government 
has taken him to Tokyo. What does your government mean, 
supporting a puppet like Syngman Rhee?" 

I did not answer that, so the interview ended with several 
of them giving me lectures about what was wrong with 
United States policy, accusing the U. S. of exploiting South 
Korea and preventing unification of the country. I think even 
the interpreter was a little bored. 

As the civilians filed out the commandant asked me if every- 
thing about my treatment was satisfactory, and whether I 
wanted anything special I said I would like some of the big 
peaches which I had admired in this area during occupation 
days. I had not been able to eat any then, because I had to 
obey my own order against the use of any indigenous food 
while the Koreans were hungry. But now I thought the 
peaches should be ripe. . . . 

The commandant sent out for a dozen, and he and the inter- 
preter and I each ate a peach, congratulating one another on 
how big and juicy they were. 

On the way back to my cottage I asked the interpreter, 
"Who were those babies doing the questioning?" 

"Oh, that was the press," he said. 

This made me feel much better. Now I remembered where 

A Small Boy from Texas 97 

I had seen some of them before as hecklers on the edges of 
press conferences in the old days when I had visited here as 
governor. Also, I thought, "Now at least the world will know 
I'm a prisoner, and my family's fears will be eased." 

I'm still curious about this situation. The interview was 
given and stories about it printed. But nothing was picked up 
at this time even by Communist newspapers outside Korea. 
Later, references to my capture were made by Tass, the Rus- 
sian news agency; and I was told that I was mentioned in a 
collection of short stories published in Poland by a Russian 
writer. But for some reason none of this information seeped 
back across the Iron Curtain to my family. 

I'm in possession of a fragmentary story that apparently 
appeared in some English-language newspaper in Korea as a 
result of this interview, but it reached me by such a circuitous 
route that I'm not sure of its origin. In part, the story reads: 

Question: "How were you arrested?" 

General Dean: "Due to the blind shootings from Australian 
airplanes. I lost most of my men. Furthermore, my driver was 
killed while we were in retreat. Therefore I sheltered myself 
alone into [sic] a mountain and attempted to make my way to- 
ward Pusan for approximately fifteen days in the mountains but 
failed and was arrested by the People's Army." 

Question: "What is your last peak of aspiration?" 

General Dean: "It is a painstaking resentment that I am cap- 
tured by you fellows. I wish I could command my officers and 
men again and annihilate all you People's Army." 

At this time Eun Suk Koo exchanged handshakings with Gen- 
eral Dean and thus they consoled each other's situation. But the 
People's Army guard brought and offered some food including 
tinned goods to General Dean, however General Dean caster" 
away these foods and made his resistance to the guards. . . . 

98 General Dean's Story 

There is more of this, which reached me via a letter, but it 
adds no more clarity to the situation than the above. Just how 
that part about Australian airplanes got in is beyond me. At 
the time I didn't know there were any Australian planes in 

In the cottage, that cot with the mattress looked wonderful 
so wonderful that I'm afraid I only grunted when the inter- 
preter told me, "You know the warden bought those peaches 
with his own money? See what a kind man he is." A good 
supper delayed me some, but I headed toward the cot as soon 
as I could. This, I thought, would be the night's sleep I had 
been dreaming about. This would make up for days in thick- 
ets and nights in the rain. 

But I was a little premature. I was restless, and every time 
I turned over, the cot squeaked. Every time the cot squeaked, 
the guard in the room would bellow at me. These guards were 
just youngsters, and I suppose they thought I was trying to 
escape; but their bellowing wasn't restful. 

In the middle of the night my old dysentery started up 
again. The first time or two I had to get up I had arguments 
with the guard, but he finally desisted. I couldn't stay in bed 
just because he wanted me to, so I got up regardless of whether 
he was still yelling. Finally he got the idea and must have 
passed the word to the men who relieved him, because I had 
no further trouble. I would holler "benjo" (Japanese for 
toilet) , and they understood that. Any Korean above the age 
of sixteen understands Japanese, although some of them pre- 
tend that they cannot. It was a required language all the times 
the Japanese controlled the peninsula. 

I was up five or six times that night, and for many nights 
thereafter five or six trips were the minimum; the maximum, 
up to thirty-six times a day. There's one thing about Dean's 

A Small Boy from Texas 99 

digestion: it never does anything halfway it either doesn't 
work at all, or it works all the time. 

There was more questioning the next day, this time by a 
stout major general of the Inmun Gun who sat behind the 
warden's desk while a youngster with a sub-machine gun 
stayed in the room to guard him. The commandant and the 
interpreter also were there, but the general did all the talking, 
the interpreter translating for him. He was a very calm, soft- 
spoken man, not threatening and not ingratiating. I think the 
other two must have been as tired of the same old questions as 
I was: Would I go on the radio to broadcast? Why were the 
Americans here? Why were non-military targets bombed? 
The only thing he left out was Syngman Rhee, and I felt I 
probably should have reminded him to ask that too. 

The questioning went on for forty-five minutes or more, but 
of course it was slowed and complicated by the translating. 
Neither of us could be sure that the interpreter was getting 
everything straight. This was evident when he asked me about 
the bombing of civilians. 

I said, "We're not in the business of bombing civilians 
we're too busy working on military targets/' 

I don't know how that was interpreted, but it infuriated the 
young guard. He snarled and jumped forward, pointing his 
sub-machine gun at me. He was so excited and upset that I 
laughed and asked the general, "What's the matter with him? 
Does he want to shoot me?" 

The general spoke to him in Korean and ordered him out of 
the room. To me, he said, "The guard is very young, but he 
is moved and greatly disturbed by the barbarities which your 
Army has committed against his countrymen." 

I still wonder what the interpreter told them in Korean. 

The general might have let that part of the questioning stop 

ioo General Dean's Story 

there, but I wanted to get in a few thoughts of my own, so ! 
said, "As long as we're talking, there's something I want to get 
off my chest. You people are not following the tenets of the 
Geneva Convention. Of all the men who captured me and shot 
at me with arms while I was being pursued in the hills, only one 
wore an arm band, let alone a uniform. You're fighting 
this war with men dressed in civilian clothes, so far as I can 

The general's attitude toward me was that of a kindly senior 
trying to straighten out a wayward child, but he didn't deign 
to answer this. Instead he asked me if I would return to Korea 
to fight again if I were released. 

I told him I surely would, if my country would let me, after 
the poor job Fd done the first time. 

His reply was, "You are a brave man but very ignorant." 

This was roughly the same thing I'd been told by the 
commandant: but the same interpreter was working, so the 
words may actually have been his rather than the general's 

The only thing that amused me during this interview was 
the realization that our names and numbers confuse the enemy 
almost as much as the many Rhees and Paks and Kims confuse 
us. Many questions concerned happenings on the east coast 
of Korea or involved Negro troop units. Finally I realized 
that this general had me confused with Major General William 
Keane of the zjth Infantry Division, and was hopelessly 
fouled up between the 24th Infantry Regiment, part of 
Keane 's command, and the 24th Infantry Division, which I 
commanded. I didn't bother to straighten him out. 

Actually none of this official interrogation bothered me as 
much as the fact that practically everybody working around 
the penitentiary wanted to interrogate me on his own. Every 

A Small Boy from Texas i o i 

corporal or private who spoke a few words of English would 
try to get his oar in when I was in the washroom, going down 
the corridors, or trying to get some sleep. One after another 
they came in, each one saying, "Rhee Syngrnan" or "Truman" 
In exactly the same tone of voice. A lot of them also asked me 
about Henry Wallace, on whom they apparently pinned great 
hopes. And one spoke a whole line. He said, "O America, 
America! My hopes were in America, but America has failed 

I finally had to complain to the commandant about the 
constant harassment in order to get relief. 

That day and night my dysentery grew worse, and the next 
morning a doctor came to see me. He felt my stomach, listened 
to my breathing, and spent most of his time giving my chest 
a very thorough thumping although personally I doubted 
that the seat of dysentery was to be found in the chest. He left 
some medicine, which may have been salts and bismuth. 
Whatever it was, it did me no good. 

In the evening the prison commandant showed up again, this 
time freshly shaved and in full officer's uniform. He looked so 
much better that I might not have recognized him, except for 
the green eyes. He let me know, without an interpreter, that I 
was to be on my way. I was given a tight-fitting American 
fatigue jacket. I pointed to my feet and the old Korean rubber 
shoes, which were all I had. The commandant looked all 
around and the unluckiest guard in the prison was right where 
the boss could see him. This fellow had big feet for a Korean, 
and was wearing G.I. shoes. The commandant nailed him and 
forced him to change shoes with me. The pair I got were the 
most odoriferous shoes I've ever approached, but I could cram 
my feet into them. Although they were about two sizes too 
small, they definitely were an improvement over what I'd had 

102 General Dean's Story 

before. I was ordered into a three-quarter-ton truck (United 
States property, naturally) with three guards and an officer. 
All the prison officials came out to bid me good-by like old 
friends. It was quite a farewell. 

We were no sooner on the road to Taejon, just after dark, 
when United Nations aircraft began coming over. Whenever 
one did, the truck would stop and the guards would insist that 
we go fifty or a hundred yards out in the bushes or up a hill 
away from the road, to wait there until the sound of the plane 
had faded out entirely. We would remain quite motionless all 
the time it was above us, even though the night was black. 
This delayed matters, and so did our indirect route toward 
Taejon which may have been taken either to avoid big troop 
movements or to stay off heavily bombed roads. 

On the way we passed six or eight different battalions of 
Communist troops, all marching south. I was struck by their 
excellent march discipline but also noticed that only about half 
the men were armed; the weapons were about evenly divided 
between rifles with long bayonets and sub-machine guns. I 
could only assume that the rest expected to pick up arms from 
Americans or their own fallen comrades on the battlefield. 
There were no signs of heavy machine guns, mortars, or any 
artillery or tanks, 

It's not a long ride from Chonju to Taejon, but we took ail 
night to do it, losing time for the bombers and for the stops I 
had to request frequently. I was quite miserable from my 
digestive troubles. 

We arrived in daylight, which allowed me one special satis- 
faction. At the edge of town were two tanks, both knocked 
out, and I was quite sure they were the same ones that had 
escaped unscathed from my pistol fire on July 20 but on which 
I had called down an air strike. It was nice to know that a few 

A Small Boy from Texas 103 

things on that miserable day had worked according to plan. 

Two other tanks still were at the main intersection, where 
Clarke had measured their treads and armor, and a fifth was 
still in the field near the dependent housing area. I knew the 
one down between the business buildings definitely had been 
knocked out, so that made six in all. I savored that figure. It 
didn't win Taejon back by any means, but I was happy to 
know we had at least run up some kind of a score for the day, 
even while we were being run out of town. 

I tried to see everything I could, but there were no answers 
to some questions. There was no clue about Clarke or any of 
the other men. Both the old regimental command post and the 
building which had been my headquarters, across the street, 
were occupied, but I couldn't tell their present use. I couldn't 
tell whether the railroad was operating, and saw no prisoners, 
but the whole town was full of adults, apparently in labor 
gangs, moving in the direction of the railroad. There were 
hundreds and hundreds of men, marching in organized groups 
but with no weapons except occasional shovels. 

I was taken out to an old mission schoolhouse northwest of 
the center of town, near the airport. I spent the day sitting in 
the office of a man who apparently was the local comman- 
dant, although he wore no insignia. Officers up to the rank of 
major kept reporting to him. There was no real interrogation; 
but one officer who spoke some English did show up with 
some photographs taken of me when I had reviewed constabu- 
lary troops at Taejon in 1947. He appeared very happy to 
have these and displayed them to me as special prizes. 

Nobody else bothered me. I was supposed to rest and per- 
haps to sleep, but found it difficult while sitting in a chair. I 
was not happy to notice that the furniture had very familiar 
markings the 24th Division Medical Battalion. Twice I was 

1 04 General Dean's Story 

served rice-and-soup meals, and in between the commandant 

gave me four or five pieces of hard candy from a jar on his 


One thing amazed me. An enlisted guard stayed in the room 
all the time; and whenever the officer would leave, the guard 
would promptly go through his desk, look through the draw- 
ers, riffle papers, and calmly help himself to the officer's ciga- 

While he was busy doing this, I seized the opportunity to 
reach over myself and grab some more of the candy, putting 
it in my pockets. I figured that if it ever were missed the guard 
would be blamed, which would be just too bad. 

Even when the officer was in the room, and made the mis- 
take of laying a package of cigarettes on his desk, the guard 
calmly would help himself, just as he might do from his best 
buddy's supply, without arousing even a complaint. I found 
out as time went on that this was a regular practice in the 
Inmun Gun. Maybe it's part of the Communist theory that 
private property is wrong. 

That night I was taken northward again, this time with new 
guards, a different officer, and in a jeep which made me feel 
very bad. It was marked "P-5, ipth Inf" one of our military 
police jeeps. Behind the wheel was one of the world's really 
rare drivers and although I was comfortably seated between 
two guards in the back, the night was not precisely restful. I 
had to call for stops many times. Once, in my hurry to get 
out of the jeep, I caught my foot on a trailer hitch, couldn't 
get my hands out in front of me in time, and fell on my head 
in the road. Landing on that part of my anatomy meant that 
no great damage was done. 

Another odd thing about the Inmun Gun is that the driver 
of a vehicle appears to be its undisputed boss no matter who's 

A Small Boy from Texas 105 

riding with him. An officer is just Hke any other passenger and 
gives no orders. 

This particular driver reminded me of the drugstore sheikh 
of the 19205. His long, lank hair hung down to his neck or 
to his chin when it was in disarray. To get it out of his eyes 
while driving, he had a sure-fire system: he'd throw back his 
head, whirl it from side to side, and the hair would fall more 
or less into place all this, of course, while he continued to 
push the jeep at almost the top speed it would make. Each 
time I was certain he was going to go off the road. 

When I wasn't hanging on, waiting for the inevitable crash, 
I- had time to notice a few more satisfactory things: where 
Task Force Smith and its artillery had fought near Osan, dead 
tanks still proclaimed the cost of that victory to the Commu- 
nists; and all up and down the highway a remarkable number 
of tanks had been knocked out by aerial action. Unfortunately 
there were also several U. S.-built armored vehicles, probably 
those we had turned over to the ROK when we ended the 
Korean occupation, also burned out in the ditches. 

Somehow the driver managed to stay on the road until we 
reached the suburbs of Suwon, where he whirled his head 
once too often. We hit the ditch, bounced over the debris of 
a wrecked tank (it sounded as if we had hit a mine), and blew 
all four tires. We finished the night by walking a couple of 
miles into town. 

Suwon was badly smashed by air attacks, and two more 
came while we were there. They both hit at the other end of 
town, and I was delighted to see air activity stepping up so 

After breakfast at a hotel the officer went away by himself, 
and I guess the two guards decided it was too much trouble to 
watch me all morning. They took me down to another build- 

106 General Dean's Story 

ing where at least thirty Korean prisoners, all civilians, were 
'wedged into one eight-by-ten room, under guard. I was put 
in with them, to sit cross-legged like the silent others. 

Almost immediately a young boy, twelve or fourteen years 
old at most, spoke to me softly in English. We were sitting close 
together. He told me that some peacetime American officer at 
Ascom City, one of our military headquarters between Seoul 
and Inchon, had befriended him as an orphan and had sent him 
to school for a year in Texas. I think the town where he had 
attended a junior high school was Austin, but I'm not sure. 
He said the officer had not been able to adopt him but had 
provided the year's schooling as the next best thing. 

He was an intelligent-looking youngster, dressed in Amer- 
ican schoolboy clothes. Now he was a political prisoner. I 
started to ask him more questions, but the guard came to the 
door and growled at him; and afterward the youngster whis- 
pered to me, "Don't talk to me. There are snoopers in here 
and they've told on me. I'll catch it now." 

I managed to slip the youngster all of the hard candy I had 
stolen the day before in Taejon, but I had no chance to do 
anything else. My own guards returned, the escort officer with 
them, and the expression on their faces announcing very 
plainly that they had been chewed out thoroughly for putting 
me in with the Koreans at all. After only about forty min- 
utes, total time, I was taken out again. 

The youngster from Texas neither waved nor changed ex- 
pression when I left. The last thing he had said was that he 
expected to be shot. He hoped that they would do it quickly, 
without torture. 


The Battle of iJ 

I have been telling my experiences in Korea in chronological 
order, for the sake of simplicity, and will continue to do so; 
but a more logical division of these events might be by their 
character: a chase and capture, the battle of ideas, attack by 
boredom, and attack by luxury. Of all these, the battle of 
ideas is the one that, to my mind, has the most importance. 

It began with my arrival in Chonju and the original sug- 
gestion that I should broadcast on the Communist radio, and 
did not end until the Communists had given me up completely, 
either because I was too stubborn or too stupid for their uses. 
In all its facets, certain curious elements were present; and 
perhaps some of them are important as clues to the workings 
of the official Communist mind. 

One of the things I noticed first was that these people were 
much more anxious to haA^e me say what they wanted me to 
say than to extract any really new or useful information. 
Pressure on me was greatest to agree to perfectly obvious 
falsities: that the United States was an aggressor; that we had 
exploited the people of South Korea or wished to do so; that 
General Douglas Mac Arthur had ordered Syngman Rhee to 
start the war. On questions of real significance our defense 
plans for Japan, commitment of troops, infantry strategy or 


io8 General Dean's Story- 

organization they gave up when met with baldfaced lies or 
simple refusal to answer. 

I also noticed that the questioning failed completely to 
evaluate known facts. It just went on and on, over and over 
the same lines, even when the answers could not possibly have 
made any difference. In September of 1950 Communist inter- 
rogators hammered at me day after day to learn prewar plans 
of the South Korean Army, which by this time were thor- 
oughly out of date, or to force me to admit certain things 
about the air campaign (indiscriminate bombing, for example) 
on which I, an infantry officer, obviously was no authority. 

There was also an almost pathological insistence on getting 
something signed. I would not broadcast on the radio, there- 
fore I must sign a paper saying that I would not go on the 
radio. I would not sign a proposed letter, then I must sign a 
letter saying 'why I would not sign a letter. I don't exaggerate: 
such things were demanded. This could not have been solely 
for the sake of the signature, to be transferred later to vastly 
different documents. They had my signature on literally 
dozens of documents from the occupation era, captured by 
them at Seoul, and I had signed my name several times since 
my capture. These could have been transferred to any state- 
ments they liked, without even the necessity of keeping me 
alive. Rather, I think that this was a business of a minor func- 
tionary feeling that he must take back something to show his 
superiors after an attempt to question or indoctrinate Dean. 
Apparently almost any old signature would do. 

Still another tactic is the obviously planned mixture of the 
real with the fanciful. This may come in a questioning which 
starts on topics so wild and absurd or so utterly unimportant 
that even the person being interrogated gets bored with them, 
and then finds himself quite suddenly on the defensive about 

The Battle of Ideas 109 

something quite important, not wild at all, when his guard 
may be presumed to be down. Or the prisoner is threatened 
with cold or starvation, and suffers both. Then he is told that 
unless he cooperates, something will happen to his family in 
Berkeley, California. The promise of better food brings a bit 
of meat into a dull and insufficient diet and right after it 
comes a promise as improbable as that he will be given a corps 
command in a Communist army. 

As I said, this verbal battle of ideas began at Chonju with 
my first questioning and continued almost everywhere we 
stopped. After I was removed from the crowded cell at 
Suwon, we went back to the courtyard of the hotel, where a 
sick Inmun Gun officer was stretched out on a bench under a 
canvas erected as a sunshade. I was directed to another wooden 
bench, and the two of us tried to sleep during most of that 
fearfully hot day, although I had very little success. In the 
afternoon a doctor and nurse came to give the Communist 
officer a hypodermic. Then the doctor examined me, giving 
my chest an especially thorough thumping, and later provided 
me with more medicine, which I again believed to be salts. 

Late in the day we started for Seoul. We were delayed when 
we found that a pontoon bridge over the Han River near the 
municipal airport no longer was passable. We joined a long 
line of vehicles waiting for a hand-operated ferry farther up 
the river, then got across it in reasonable time because the 
officer in charge of me pulled his rank to get us past the lined- 
up trucks. I noticed that many of these waiting vehicles were 
driven by Inmun Gun enlisted men and were piled high with 
loot and loaded with women and children. These looked like 
families, complete with all their household goods, going back 
to Seoul. I have no idea where they'd been, unless they were 
Communist families who had pulled out of the city to avoid an 

1 1 o General Dean's Story 

expected battle and now were coming back while the Inmun 
Gun was busy rounding up their non-Communist neighbors 
for prison or execution. 

I'm sorry now that I didn't pay closer attention to that 
ferry. A few weeks later that hand-operated job became fa- 
miliar to many Americans and helped to move much of the 
yth Division, my old command, across the river as U. N. Forces, 
landing at Inchon, drove the Communists out of burning 
Seoul for the first time on September 26. 

We entered Seoul just before midnight. The streets were 
deserted. I was taken to the old municipal police department 
building, where a major general greeted me pleasantly and 
told me to get some sleep on a table, which I did with the 
greatest of ease. 

In the morning I was served an amazing meal, carried up 
from the police grill. It consisted of an excellent steak, well 
fried; three nice fresh eggs, turned over easy; french-fried 
potatoes; and eight count them small loaves of french-type 
bread. I was also handed, with considerable ceremony, a can 
of evaporated milk, and a guard was insistent that I drink it-- 

This was the first American-type food I saw. Any portion 
of it would have been sufficient for a breakfast, but I couldn't 
stand to see it go away again, so I ate all of everything except 
the bread. I simply couldn't get down more than a loaf and a 
half of that. I secreted the other half -loaf in my pockets, but 
when a soldier came to clear away the dishes he took the other 
six loaves with him and I watched them go with real regret. 

Then for the next several hours I was busy regretting how 
much I'd eaten. 

The general occupying the office where I slept apparently 
had worked all night (if he slept, I don't know where or 

The Battle of Ideas 1 1 1 

when). In the morning another group of civilians came in, 
and the general and I held what was obviously a press confer- 
ence, although nobody bothered to explain it to me. Interpret- 
ing was done by an elderly civilian, whose thin white beard 
stuck out in bristles two inches long. 

These people were interested mainly in my experiences 
since I had been captured, but they also wanted to know 
exactly ivh y I had permitted myself to become separated from 
my own troops. I found myself angrily defending Lieutenant 
Clarke and my bodyguard against the absurd claim that they 
were to blame for my separation. I don't know why this was 
important to the press, but they made a great point of being 
critical of the men with me. They also hammered at the ques- 
tion of whether I had been alone in the mountains, whether 
anyone with me had escaped when I was captured. I had to be 
very careful never to mention Lieutenant Tabor. I thought 
he might still be at large, and I certainly didn't want to stir up 
any special hunt for him. 

I did say quite a lot about the terrible ride I'd had between 
Chinan and Chonju in that truckload of prisoners. I said that 
it was the worst ride I'd ever experienced, that the treatment 
of those prisoners was brutal, but I could have saved my 
breath. The minute my story began to get unpleasant, the gen- 
eral spoke to the press; and although all of them had been 
taking notes steadily, they all put away their pencils. Censor- 
ship was working, with no arguments. 

Then my questioners did one of those incomprehensible 
things which just don't make any sense, no matter how you 
figure them. One of them I think it was the general himself 
said, "Would you like to see Ahn Chai Hong and Kim Kyn 

I said, "Not particularly." 

1 1 2 General Dean's Story 

In prewar days these men had been South Korean leaders of 
importance with whom I had worked as military governor. I 
had liked them both and respected Ahn especially as an in- 
tense patriot and a brave man. Kim Kyu Sik was an elderly 
man, a leader of stature equal to or greater than Syngman 
Rhee's in the days of the formation of the South Korean gov- 
ernment. He had fought that formation because he thought it 
would mean permanent partition of the country. A doctor of 
philosophy, he had headed the interim assembly. Using Eng- 
lish, he had been an orator of exceptional ability. 

I certainly had no desire to see either of them under these 
circumstances. Nevertheless, Ahn obviously also a prisoner 
and being detained in this same building was hauled in. He 
looked at me with the most shamed face I've ever seen. I said, 
"How do you do, Mr. Ahn. I'm sorry to see you under these 

He made no audible reply. I had always admired this man, 
although he was stubborn. Now he must have been terrified, 
because his palm was clammy when we shook hands. 

That was all there was to it and its purpose escaped me. 
There could not have been any doubt of my identification by 
this time. Perhaps they just wanted to watch us squirm. Kim 
Kyu Sik was ill at his home, I was told, so he wasn't brought 

Later both these men went north to cooperate with the 
Communists. Kim Kyu Sik died very soon after going north, 
but I've been told that Ahn is now a Communist commissar of 
some sort. This is difficult for me to understand; but I'm sure 
somebody must have convinced him, somehow, that commu- 
nism was the best thing for his country. 

1 had all the comforts of home that morninganother shave 
and hair trim, and a chance to wash. In the afternoon another 

The Battle of Ideas 1 1 3 

major general showed up to question me, mostly about mili- 
tary matters. He made a great point of wanting to know 
exactly when my division had come to Korea, and I could see 
that he was working to prove we had moved before the United 
Nations gave full approval. I suddenly developed a very bad 
memory for dates. 

When he asked about the strength of the 24th Division I 
decided to take a little wind out of his sails. The North 
Koreans were so cocky about having pushed us back that I 
knocked three or four thousand off our actual strength. I said 
we had eight thousand men, but that by no means all of those 
were combat soldiers the division included ordnance, signal 
men, and many others. I tried to get across the idea, "You 
boys aren't really as good as you think you are." 

He pulled out one of our tables of organization and began 
reading off unit sizes, but I stopped him. "Oh no," I said, "that 
table is only for war. We didn't expect a war, so we came 
under strength. I want you to remember that the Inmun Gun 
has not done as well as you think, because you weren't fight- 
ing the numbers you thought you were." 

I had tried not to knock off too many numbers, but to make 
it sound just barely reasonable. I thought I was getting along 
quite well with all this when he threw me a real curve. He 
said, "Did you personally explain to your men why they are 
fighting? Do your officers and men know why they are 

That was a telling point, because I hadn't. I had done so 
when we were fighting in Europe, and in Japan had made a 
point of explaining personally to each replacement exactly the 
theory of our duty as occupation troops. But here in Korea I 
just hadn't gotten around to any such explanations. I had 
talked to most of the officers and headquarters groups, but all 

1 1 4 General Dean's Story 

I could do was hope that the regimental and company officers 
had done such explaining to most of the men. I remembered 
that at an early briefing some officer had asked me, "Just why 
are we fighting?" And I had said, "That's a tough question. 
Why do you think?" 

He had said, "We're fighting for liberty," and I'd agreed 
that this was as good an answer as any. 

I lied like a trooper to this Communist general, but I also 
made a personal resolution never to let that explanation detail 
slide again, no matter how tough the situation or how little 
time I had. That question really hurt me, and I hated like sin 
to have to look that buzzard in the eye and say, "Of course I 

But he switched immediately from the important to the 
innocuous. His next question was, "How did you identify 
yourself when you were up front? How could people tell you 
were a general?" 

I said, "I had two little stars on my helmet." 

He said, "How did you identify your jeep?" 

I said I'd had stars on that. 

He asked, "Leather cushions?" 

I said I couldn't remember whether they were leather. 

That evening I was ordered downstairs, and the general of 
the Inmun Gun went with me. In front of the building he 
asked, "Did you ever see this before?" 

There was my own jeep that old White (Corporal Mal- 
colm D. White, my driver) had been so proud of, still with 
the leather cushions and the spick-and-span numbers on the 
front. The general presented me with my own two-star license 
plate and handed me my own helmet with the two stars in 
front and the taro-leaf insignia (distinguishing mark of the 

The Battle of Ideas 1 1 5 

24th Division) on the side. He said, "You can have these for 


Then I was directed to a three-quarter-ton truck, while he 
drove off in my jeep. I never did get a chance to find out 
whether those unawarded medals might still be secreted in the 
jeep somewhere, but I doubt that they were. 

The two major generals at Seoul were of the two principal 
branches of the North Korean services. The man who had 
welcomed me was a member of the Security Police, which in 
time of peace does rural police work and furnishes border 
guards, operating independently of the Army, but In time of 
war is called in for various duties, including management of 
prisoner-of-war camps. These people are recognizable by their 
green shoulder tabs. The Inmun Gun, or Regular Army, 
wears red tabs; and the general who had my jeep was one of 
these regular officers. 

Now that my identity had been established definitely, 
obviously there was a plan to defer to rank in rny case. The 
deference, so far as the truck ride north from Seoul was 
concerned, consisted of placing a wobbly kitchen chair in 
the exact center of the truck. I was ordered to sit on this; and 
a six-man guard, armed with four sub-machine guns and two 
rifles, found seats on the floor all around me. We headed 

Once again the driver of the truck was the person I 
watched. An officer sat with him in the front seat of the 
truck but said very little and did nothing. The driver was 
boss. I always remember him as the Singing Driver, in con- 
trast to the Hairy Driver, who had run us into the ditch below 
Suwon. This fellow was also a most un-Korean type of 
Korean: he even acted as if women were human. Specifically, 

1 1 6 General Dean's Story 

he stopped to pick up a girl hitch-hiker, giving her a favored 
seat on his left side, even though the English-speaking officer 
obviously was opposed to the whole idea. But again the 
supremacy of North Korean drivers was quite evident, and 
the girl got in. If the people who later hinted about giving me 
commands in the North Korean Army really had been smart, 
they'd have offered me a job driving a truck. If I'm ever in 
that army, that's what I want to do. Truck drivers have it all 
over officers. 

At any rate, the girl snuggled up to the driver, playing up 
to him in a fashion you might expect in a Western country, 
but hardly in the Orient. It worked. She rode all the way to 
the north side of the Imjin River in one of the best seats. If 
the officer was crowded, that was just too bad. 

The guards apparently were men going home on leave. 
Before we left Seoul I'd noticed that they were showing each 
other photographs, apparently of girl friends, and exchanging 
addresses. Among them was a barracks-room bully, who 
would have had a rough time in our own Army. One of the 
smaller men displayed a photograph, and this big fellow not 
only snatched it to look at, but refused to give it back. The 
poor little devil did everything he could, but never could get 
it away from him. 

The guards pooled their money everyone seemed to have 
bales of it and sent one fellow out to buy some dried fish and 
hard crackers. As we rode north they ate the fish, offering me 
pieces of it. I couldn't get this down but managed some of 
the crackers, which were like hardtack. 

They also sang. It seemed to me that all the songs were 
political, in one way or another. There was the Inmun Gun 
marching air, and another about Kim Sung Soo, one of South 
Korea's outstanding leaders, which was like a hate song, or 

The Battle of Ideas 1 1 7 

perhaps even unprintable. Another, sung with the same inflec- 
tion and undoubtedly a hate song, was u E-Syngman." Koreans 
usually reverse the order of names, placing the family desig- 
nation first. And a single character may be translated Rhee, 
Dee (or Di), or just as E. Thus this song title, although sung 
with the syllables widely separated, actually is only the name 
of President Syngman Rhee but I doubt very much that he 
would have enjoyed it. There was also a song about Stalin, 
but I could tell that this was quite different, with Stalin being 
extolled. Whether they're still singing it, now that Stalin is 
being officially deglainourized by the Communists, I can only 

The driver loved to sing with them, especially those songs 
which concerned the Inmun Gun. This I wouldn't have 
minded, but each time he joined the singing he would lift his 
head to bay out the choruses toward the stars and take his 
eyes completely off the road. Each time I was quite sure we'd 
hit the ditch. 

We had trouble getting across the Imjin River, but finally 
made it through a ford. The girl hitch-hiker left us on the 
north side. We continued on to a town which I believe was 
Paekchon (just south of the 38th parallel and west of Kae- 
song), although it could have been another village in the same 
vicinity. This was a roundabout route to Pyongyang, the 
reason for which was not clear to me. At any rate, we stopped 
for an hour or two, parking in the yard in front of a police 
station while the escort officer went inside. I shall never forget 
that town, for one reason. All the time we sat there someone 
was screaming inside the jail. It was screaming even worse 
than that I had heard coming from the tank we had hit at 
Taejon, and it kept on monotonously. This was no child, no 
wounded soldier. This was someone being cruelly tortured; 

1 1 8 General Dean's Story 

and whatever they were doing to him continued intermit- 
tently all the time we were there. 

Finally we went on again. The kitchen chair had not been 
equal to the bumps and twists that truck driver had managed 
to put into the road and was about to fall apart. I talked the 
guards into throwing it away (with the officer, who knew 
how to speak English but obviously didn't wish to, providing 
grudging translation in monosyllables) and sat on the floor 
with the enlisted men. Shortly I was a little sorry I had, for as 
soon as I tried to stretch out, all six of them were on top of 
me. They meant nothing by it. It was just their way with each 
other, but they were like a ball of puppies or a bunch of 
snakes, arms and legs everywhere and all on top of me. I was 
nauseated and weak, and this made the nightmare night even 
worse. The autumn chill was increasing at night, although the 
days still were fairly warm. 

The men went on singing, and the driver went on flirting 
with ditches every time he raised his head to give voice. This 
even affected the uncommunicative officer. I said that I thought 
they must have searched for a week to find such a rotten 
driver, and the officer agreed with me. They had succeeded, 
he said, in finding the worst driver in Seoul. 

At another time he did mention that the weather was much 
colder in the north, and that although the springs and autumns 
were beautiful, the country was too hot in summer and too 
cold in winter that Korea, in fact, had a terrible climate. It 
was my turn to agree with him. Otherwise he volunteered no 
information, not even about where he had learned English, 
and I wasn't curious. Perhaps if I had guessed how long it 
would be before I had a chance to speak English regularly 
again, I would have tried to start more conversation. 

I got some relief from that pile of snakelike humans because 

The Battle of Ideas 1 1 9 

of my dysentery. On that trip I had to ask the driver to stop 
seven or eight times. There was a much longer rest from them 
just before morning. As we were dropping down into a long 
valley the driver finally sang once too often, or lifted his head 
too far, and ran us off the road into a rice paddy. The truck 
turned over. But this was a vehicle without a top, like most 
of them in North Korea, and we were all thrown clear. 
Nobody had anything land on him, but one man in the front 
seat hurt his ribs. He was in pain and moaned all the rest of 
the night. 

The guards succeeded in shoving the truck back on its 
wheels but could not get the engine started again. I think the 
exhaust pipe must have been clogged. So we walked seven or 
eight miles to a town which I was told was named Oreo, al- 
though I've never been able to locate it on a map. I made eight 
more dysentery stops during the hike and I think the guard 
more or less appreciated them, for the officer had been march- 
ing us all at a very fast pace. He was the only one who ap- 
peared to mind the delays. 

I was taken to a hotel in the town just at daybreak, was 
given breakfast, and spent the day there. The hotel was built 
around a court, and all day long the town children wandered 
in and out, coming to stare at me. A prisoner must have been 
a curiosity, and the word had got around. In the afternoon 
the parade became so constant that the officer aroused me 
and took me down to the center of town so everybody could 
have a look. Nobody threw anything, nor even jeered. They 
only stared, like people looking at a monkey in a zoo. I think 
I must have been ahead of the infamous prisoner inarches 
which later covered more or less this same route. 

During the day someone repaired the truck, and that night 
we drove on to Pyongyang, crossing a pontoon bridge to get 

i2o General Dean's Story 

into the city, and arriving about ten o'clock. First we stopped 
in front of a large building, which I was told was the Security 
Police headquarters (although other accounts mentioning this 
building refer to it as the Secret Police headquarters); the 
officer went in to report, while a guard and I sat outside in 
the truck parked under a tree. Presently another officer and 
two guards came out, and we were driven to a house near 
Liberation Park (a park that became familiar to Americans 
a couple of months later during the brief occupation of Pyong- 
yang, captured by the Eighth Army on October 19 during 
its push toward the Yalu River). The house was directly 
across the river from a large airfield, and not far from Kim II 
Sung University. 

Here I was greeted by a very pleasant-appearing Korean in 
civilian clothes. He said, "I'll be your interpreter here. Fm 
here to make you comfortable." He did not identify himself, 
and later, when he did tell his name, Lee Kyu Hyun, he asked 
me never to use it, as he was under orders not to tell it to me. 

This was a Western-style house, two rooms with a double 
door between them. Again there was an Army cot for me, 
complete with mattress, pillows, and sheets, and a couple of 
overstuffed chairs and some straight chairs. Lee asked me if 
I wanted to go to bed immediately. I said, u Show me the 
latrine first. The way I feel, Fll need that often." 

When I got to bed there was no problem except the lights, 
which were ordered left on so that a guard who stayed in the 
room could see me at all times. Another guard was outside 
the house; and Lee and another civilian, who carried a pistol 
on his hip and was apparently in charge of affairs, also slept in 
the house the man in charge usually just falling asleep in one 
of the easy chairs. 

Breakfast was served to Lee and me together, and he told 

The Battle of Ideas 1 2 1 

me that he had been a professor of literature at Kim II Sung 
University, but had been drafted by the Inmun Gun at the 
outbreak of war. He had been translating captured documents, 
he said, but wouldn't be any more specific. He said he hadn't 
seen any other prisoners before I arrived. 

Later I was told that the North Koreans had captured many 
secret documents, both from our Embassy in Seoul and the 
headquarters of the Korean Military Advisory Group 
(KMAG). I can't guess whether the Embassy documents 
were important, but would guess that those in KMAG head- 
quarters concerned principally South Korean military plan- 
ning, and therefore would have been thoroughly out of date 
by the time the Reds got them. 

I saw no Russians in Pyongyang, and the anti-aircraft fire 
sounded weak. I was in no position to find out whether those 
batteries actually were manned by Russians, as some of our 
people were told when the United Nations captured the city, 
but they could have been. 

From Lee I received the first inkling of what the war meant 
to middle-class North Koreans. He was very much concerned 
about his wife and a baby born in June. He had not been able 
to see his wife since the war began but knew that she had no 
milk for the child (extremely unusual for a Korean woman) 
and had not been able to find any fresh or preserved milk, so 
was trying to raise the youngster on rice broth. She and the 
baby were with her parents in a village about twenty miles 
away, but Lee never was given leave to go to see them. 

Lee expressed great surprise about me. He had been briefed 
on me, he said, and had been told that I was a tough, rugged 
individual who liked only rough outdoor sports an uncul- 
tured type. He was amazed when I asked for something to 
read and promised to bring me something the next day. He 

1 2 2 General Dean's Story 

also was amazed that I cared for music or painting, and could 
not understand how in the world anyone who believed in 
"pure culture," literature and the arts, could also be a profes- 
sional soldier. 

He managed to let me know that he had some culture. He 
had been to school in Japan, where he learned English; had 
visited Moscow; and had taken post-graduate work at Kim 
II Sung University. 

On that first day Lee brought me a good tan, summer- 
weight civilian suit, with a Seoul tailor's name on it. It fitted 
well, except in the waist, and I had to tuck the top of the trou- 
sers inside my belt. There was also a nice shirt, of some material 
like nylon. The tailoring on this was special: the sleeves were 
too long for my thirty-five-inch arms, but the tail was so 
short I couldn't keep it inside my trousers. Lee also gave me 
a necktie, so I was a natty-looking individual. 

On the second day he brought some reading matter a 
novel, Allitet Takes to the Hill, and the July issue of a Soviet 
magazine, Neivs. The latter contained stories of strikes in 
Japan and stevedores refusing to load military cargoes for 
Korea, articles about a proposed international anti-atom-bomb 
pledge, and others criticizing the United Nations for inter- 
fering in Korea. 

I read anything they'd let me read. I was interested in 
finding out what modern communism was all about. You 
can't fight something intelligently unless you know what it 
is. In the United States we can't afford to be so ignorant. Be- 
fore I was a prisoner I didn't know what the Reds were talk- 
ing about, what they meant when they said "Leninism." I 
had studied Marxism when it was still taught at the University 
of California as a political science course, but their interpre- 
tation of Leninism was all new to me. Not one officer in a 

The Battle of Ideas 123 

thousand in our Army-and, If anything, an even smaller per- 
centage of civilians in the United States-has any idea of what 
they mean. So I read everything I could. I'm an authority now 
on the history of the Communist party and much of its 

Just for the record, later on one of the things the Commu- 
nists were always yapping about to me was "McCarthyism." 
All I could say was, "Who the hell's McCarthy? I never 
heard of him." He became a political figure after my capture. 

In one of my first conversations with Lee I repeated my 
request to be taken to a prisoner-of-war camp, and I remem- 
ber his answer very well. He said, "Oh, the men In your 
camps are very happy, very merry, very cheerful, happy. 
They're whistling and singing and cracking jokes all the time." 
But he did not say anything about taking me to join them. 
Instead he brought me a novel, Port Arthur, which concerned 
the 352-day siege of that city in the Russo-Japanese war. Pos- 
sibly it was intended to take my mind off the current conflict. 

On September 6 I had a very important visitor: a four-star 
colonel (equivalent to our rank of brigadier general) named 
Kim. I have every reason to remember this man, and I'm sure 
I could pick him out of any crowd. I know the way he fumes 
when he is angry, the unctuous approach he uses when he's 
trying to wheedle, the manner in which spittle foams out of 
his mouth when he's threatening yet I find it difficult to 
describe him. Perhaps it's like trying to describe someone very 
close to you. You find yourself thinking, "Well, she just looks 
like June," or, "Well, he's just an ordinary man." For quite 
different reasons, I feel somewhat the same about this Kim: 
he's just an ordinary Korean, although I'm quite sure that I'll 
be able to reach out a beckoning finger when I see him again. 
And 111 be waiting for that day. 

124 General Dean's Story 

Not that he was unpleasant at first. Quite the contrary. He 
was friendly, kindly, interested in my welfare and left me a 
thick folder of alleged copies of statements by American 
prisoners of war. These statements all concerned a resolution, 
said to have been approved at a mass meeting of prisoners, 
calling for American troops to cease fighting. Some eight hun- 
dred typed signatures were attached, many of them names of 
officers and men I had known in the 24th Division. Quite a 
few were men I thought had been killed in the fighting. 

The resolution was wordy, but the general idea can be 
conveyed by the opening statement: "We were brought here 
under the assumption that North Koreans had started the war; 
but we found out after we arrived that the war was in fact 
started by the South Koreans, who were the aggressors and 
have been for some time." 

Colonel Kim's request (I give his rank each time I mention 
him in order to avoid confusion with many other Kims, but 
this indicates no special respect on my part) was simple: I 
should sign the petition and go on the radio to notify my 
family that I was alive and to tell the people of the United 
States that we should stop fighting. He said, "Now I'll give 
you time to look these over and to think them over." 

Also in the folder was a long statement allegedly signed by 
Philip Deane, a British war correspondent captured by the 
Communists in the early days of the fighting. This was highly 
critical of Americans, discussed his own capture, and quoted 
some U. S. sergeant as saying that we had been too busy bring- 
ing post-exchange supplies to Korea to take time to tell our 
soldiers what the war was about, and that we had sent troops 
in to fight without proper preparation. It also lauded North 
Koreans for their care of prisoners and the wounded. I didn't 
know what I was supposed to do about this, so I did nothing. 

The Battle of Ideas 1 2 5 

The next morning we moved again, this time to a church 
building in the village of Sunan, about sixteen miles north of 
Pyongyang. Even before we left the house, the rag on the 
floor of my room and some of the furniture had been taken 
away; and when we reached the church these akeady had 
been set in place by the pistol-toting civilian and a truck crew. 
The church was divided by a rough board partition, full of 
cracks and knotholes, at the chancel. In the portion of the 
church where the congregation normally sits, the guards- 
some twenty or twenty-five men were housed, without fur- 
niture, sleeping on the floor. The chancel area, about twelve 
by twenty feet, was for me; and here were the rug and fur- 
nishings from the house near Liberation Park. Directly behind 
the chancel was another partition, and a room about seven 
by twenty feet, where Lee slept. Beside the church and only 
a few yards from it was a small Korean-type house that was 
used as a cook-shack; there was no provision for heat or cook- 
ing in the church building. The two structures sat in a grove 
of chestnut trees, and the chestnut crop was ripe. 

One guard was always in my room, and the light burned 
constantly. Lee told me that we had moved because of the 
increased bombing of Pyongyang, including the use of anti- 
personnel, air-bursting bombs. 1 had noticed that for two or 
three days previously, bombing had been more frequent than 
before, most of it by small propellor-driven planes and some 
jets working over the airfield. Often the jets would get in 
before the air-raid warning sounded. Our house was shaken, 
but none of the bombs hit especially close. Lee told me, how- 
ever, that the bombers were destroying the city. He was 
worried about his own family and friends, especially about 
his father, who was still living there. On the day we moved 
he told me, "Yesterday the bombers hit the section where 

126 General Dean's Story 

my father Is. I hope he wasn't killed." Apparently he had no 

method of getting any direct information. 

I failed to mention that before we moved another doctor 
had come to see me, given my chest one more good thumping, 
and left some powders for me to take. My digestive troubles 
had increased, and I was fast growing weaker. I don't think 
I weighed more than a hundred and ten pounds when I was 
captured (my normal prewar weight being about two hundred 
and ten), and ten days of uninterrupted dysentery certainly 
hadn't allowed me to gain any of it back again. 

When the very polite and kindly Colonel Kim came to see 
me again, a day or so later, he insisted that I take a walk with 
him. I tried but simply could not keep going after fifty or a 
hundred yards. So we stopped at a point from which we 
could look down over the valley surrounding Sunan; and 
while we sat there he gave me a lecture on the virtues of 

He wondered if I had not noticed a vast difference between 
South and North Korea. I told him that although I had been 
traveling only at night, and could not see much, the farm 
houses in North Korea looked much poorer to me and that I 
thought the people lacked comforts of life which farmers in 
South Korea took as a matter of course. 

That didn't please him at all. He pointed out a housing 
project being constructed near Sunan as an example of what 
communism was doing for the people. He also said that al- 
though we might talk about communism, using the term 
loosely, North Korea actually wasn't a true Communist state, 
because people could still own their own homes and there 
was sanctity of private property. The only feature of true 
state socialism, he said, was that all land was owned by the 
state and had been so subdivided that each man now farmed 

The Battle of Ideas 1 2 7 

his own, paying nothing in the way of rent or taxes except 
one-fourth of his annual crop. No landlord could exploit an- 
other man by having his land worked for him; all large indus- 
tries and public utilities such as railroads were owned by the 
state; women had full equality with men; and industrial work- 
ers had priority at state-operated food stations. I should, he 
said, see the light and realize how wonderful all of this really 
was. It was a long, exhaustive lecture, and I was exhausted. 
And I thought mostly, when I thought at all, about my diges- 
tive tract, which did not feel good. 

We finally went back to the church for lunch. It was deli- 
ciousthere was even boiled beef, the first meat I had seen 
since I left Seoul. After lunch the colonel asked if I had signed 
the petition asking our people to stop fighting. When I said 
that I had not, I could see he thought he had wasted his boiled 

About September 10 Colonel Kirn came back again; and 
this time all he wanted was my signature on a couple of long 
written statements, which he said were precisely the same 
things I had told him in conversation. One was to the effect 
that we were maiding a mistake by fighting in Korea, battling 
not only North Korea but actually fighting against South 
Korea's interests and desires too. The other was even more 
simple: Syngman Rhee was no good, a rascal, a crook, a senile 
old man, a thief who looked after only his own personal 

Somehow all I could remember about our previous conver- 
sation was what he had told me, not what I'd told himand 
certainly not these statements. But the colonel made every- 
thing exceptionally clear. "These," he said, "represent my 
minimum requests. If you sign these, you'll go to a prisoner- 
of-war camp immediately and you won't be tortured." 

128 General Dean's Story 

Well, that Insertion about torture wasn't exactly a reassur- 
ing note, but we didn't get anywhere that day, although he 
spent most of the afternoon working on the problem inter- 
mittently. His pushing wasn't constant, but it was wearing as 
hell. He didn't shout or scream, but he wasn't quite the kindly 
friend he had been previously except for a few minutes, 
when he suddenly asked whether I liked to drink. 

I said, u No. I seldom drink any hard liquor. I do like a 
little something sherry wine, perhaps before dinner, but 
that's usually all." 

This confused him a little, I could see; but he wasn't stopped 
entirely. "Then," he said, "all you have to do Is to sign these 
statements, and your troubles will be over. Sign, and you'll 
be taken to a nice house in the country. It's a fine house, and 
you'll have an easy and pleasant life, just living there until 
the war is over. Nobody will be shooting at you, and you'll 
be in no danger of being killed. Also, there will be plenty of 
fine sherry wine to drink." 

He embroidered that house-in-the-country picture quite a 
lot, but I think he was a little troubled because he couldn't 
stock the cellar with scotch or vodka. 

For two more days the colonel stayed at the church, alter- 
nately being persuasive, dangling in front of me this hope for 
a lazy country life with a bottle of sherry, then shifting over 
to the crimes being committed by the United Nations In the 
war mostly, the bombing of schools and churches. 

Here I think I should digress a moment to explain state- 
ments that must be made in the rest of this book. During the 
next three years I had a true worm's-eye view of our air war. 
Obviously, being unable to see much or to move far, I was in 
no position to evaluate the effects of bombing as a whole. I 
could see only what was right in front of me, I knew only the 

The Battle of Ideas 129 

effect of bombing on a few people, with whom I had direct 
contact. So when I say that bombers missed or hit an apparent 
target, or that bombing increased the hatred which one of a 
thousand Kims had for the United States, no over-all criticism 
of aerial warfare is meant or implied. The importance of an 
individual miss or a single person being confirmed in his 
communism as a result of bombing can be judged only in 
relation to thousands of such bits of information. The fact 
that a bomber did miss, or a man did lose his wife and chil- 
dren, must be told, however, in order to understand what 
happened to the people around me, and how they thought. 

But no one should forget that for three years those jets and 
bombers in the skies were my only link with my country. In 
all that time there was no sweeter sight to me than the vapor 
trail of a Sabre or the fiery fall of a MIG, no sound lovelier 
than the solid whuummp! of a salvo of bombs falling just over 
the next hill. Those were my people working, and I cheered 
them, every one. 

At Sunan, however, it did seem to me that there was a good 
deal of bombing being wasted on the roads when I could still 
hear switch engines chuffing up and down on the undamaged 
railroad. The noise of those locomotives, coming after a flight 
of bombers had left, hurt me, personally; although of course 
I merely had to assume that the railroad actually had not been 
hurt. For all that I know definitely, they may have been 
chuffing up and down on the only bit of track left to them, 
and accomplishing nothing. 

During this time bed was still the greatest thing in the 
world to me. My cares all seemed to drop away if I could get 
back to that cot and sleep, endlessly. 

About eleven-thirty one night Colonel Kim spoiled it. He 
came storming in, got me up, and wasn't in the least friendly 

130 General Dean's Story 

any more. "Now," he said, "I want you to sign this request 

to stop bombing our innocent villages." 

I said, "Nobody will believe it, if I sign anything like that. 
If I could get back to my own people, however, I certainly 
would advise them to concentrate more on military targets. 
Fm sure those are the orders, but sometimes there are errors. 
I'd like to get back so that I could tell them." 

He kept on arguing, insisting that I sign a statement. I was 
very tired and sick, but I don't intend to alibi I merely got 
what seemed like a brilliant idea at the time, but less so later. 
I said, "No, I won't sign a statement, but I 'will write a letter 
to General Walker, if you'll get It delivered. I'm sure you can 
do that, the way your people infiltrate. I'll bet you could send 
somebody down there and hand it to him, by hand. I'll write a 
letter to General Walker, right now." 

My belief that the Communists could infiltrate almost at 
will had a good deal of early evidence to support it. In the 
first hours of the war I was shown Communist handbills, clear 
down at Pusan, which were being used to frighten workers 
on our airfield. Thousands of these, which read, roughly, 
"You'll die, you dog, for helping the Americans," were put in 
the hands of these Pusan laborers even before the battle line 
had moved south of the Han River, at Seoul. And all the 
while I was with troops, we were harassed constantly by 
roadblocks and snipers who went around our lines or right 
through them as infiltrators, with a minimum of difficulty. 

I guess that letter from Sunan was a silly thing, but I did 
write it. I wrote along these lines: 

Dear General Walker: Unfortunately I was captured on the 
zjth of August. It was a physical capture. I was overpowered on 
my attempt to get back through the lines. [I did want both Gen- 

The Battle of Ideas 1 3 1 

eral Walker and my own son to know that I had not surren- 
dered.] I've been well treated but I'm anything but happy at being 
a prisoner of war. I urge that you impress upon the Air the neces- 
sity to confine our attacks to military targets. William F. Dean. 

I don't think I ever would have written this letter if I had 
been fully awake. Afterward I was much troubled by it. I 
thought those damned fools just might put it through, and if 
they did, I only hoped that General Walker would under- 
stand what I was talking about that I wanted more and better 
bombing, not less of it. 

As I've said, almost any signature would satisfy these peo- 
ple. This letter stopped Kim's harangue; and as I was going 
back to bed the interpreter, Lee, said, "All Korean people 
will love you for this." But so far as I can learn, they never 
did anything with it. Don't ask me why. 

I have thought many times of this letter. I have no alibi for 
having written it; but I certainly want to emphasize that I 
keenly regretted having done so immediately after the deed. 
In fact, the following days were a veritable nightmare because 
of my reviling myself for having so written. One of the most 
difficult problems for a prisoner is that of maintaining his 
judgment. You have no one on whom to test your ideas be- 
fore turning them into decisions. A thought, which normally 
you would discard as soon as you saw that it affected listeners 
adversely, balloons in your mind until you are sure it must 
be exceptionally clever. And sober reflection, which might 
show it up as being both foolish and dangerous rather than 
clever, just isn't possible under prison conditions. Of course 
Fin sorry I wrote that letter. It did no good and might have 
done great harm. 

But this night was just a starter for Kim. He was there al- 
most every day after that, and the mask of friendliness was 

1 3 2 General Dean's Story 

gone. Paraphrased, what he had to say again and again was, 
"I've got you now. You can't back down. I'm going to dis- 
credit you. You've lost all dignity, so you might as well sign 
anything I put in front of you. You signed one thing, so I've 
got you. I've never lost on a man yet, I've never failed to 
obtain my objective, and I've had them tougher than you." 
Often this harangue was delivered just after he'd shaken me 
awake in the middle of the night. 

I signed only one thing more for him, however, and again 
I thought that I was being real cute. Kim had been after me 
about the alleged hatred of South Koreans for Americans and 
wanted me to sign a prepared statement that we should with- 
draw from the peninsula. I was feeling very cagey, so I said 
that I wouldn't sign that, but I would write one similar to it. 
In my own handwriting I made another statement. As nearly 
as I can remember I worded it: 

The United States has lost favor in the eyes of South Koreans, 
who have seen their own nationals from the North win apparent 
military successes in the South; and this has given them a national 
consciousness. Many South Koreans through fear have outwardly 
manifested hostility to all Americans; and if we drive only to the 
38th parallel, it will be only a matter of time until we have the 
same problem again, because the seeds of communism have been 
planted in the South. I base this observation merely upon my 
experiences when I was harried for thirty-five days in the moun- 


Again I attached my signature and with it, an invisible 
hope that if the statement ever reached anybody who mat- 
tered, he would be able to see that I was trying to urge our 
people to come north of the parallel, not to stop at it, at the 
same time covering the thought with enough meaningless 
words to confuse the Communists. 

The Battle of Ideas 1 3 3 

At the time I thought this note was really quite clever, and 
Colonel Kim was obviously so pleased that I hoped it might 
work. He went away, carrying that statement like a treasure, 
but was back a couple of days later, fuming mad. I guess he 
had showed it to somebody who understood the English lan- 
guage well enough to see what I was trying to do. Kim said I 
was a running dog of Wall Street, and various other things. 
My statement was no good at all and would do great harm. 
He was displeased with me. 

On the night of September 14 he got me out of bed again 
and ordered me taken to Pyongyang, while he departed in 
another vehicle. The truck which carried me stopped first at 
a building near the river, where an officer did some compli- 
cated telephoning before my guards took me any farther. I 
judged that this was to set up final arrangements for what was 
to come later, but was told nothing. While we were waiting 
there, Lee pointed to some nearby buildings, which could have 
been factories or some sort of dormitories. He said, "That's 
where the American prisoner-of-war camp is." He did not 
elaborate, and of course I saw no prisoners in the middle of 
the night. 

Later we went across town, to the same building where I 
had waited when I first was brought to Pyongyang, the Secu- 
rity Police headquarters. Here, to my astonishment, a sentry 
actually saluted me, although I was in those summer-weight 
civilian clothes. I was taken to an enormous room where a 
lieutenant general was seated at a massive table. He was intro- 
duced to me as General Pak (although from later information 
I believe he actually was Lieutenant General Pang Ha Sae, 
head of the Security Forces) . The general invited me to sit 
down. He said he understood that I had refused to "cooper- 
ate" (whenever I use this word, I'm referring to the Comrnu- 

134 General Dean's Story 

nists' term, not one of my own choosing), but he was sure 
that I would cooperate with him. He wanted, he said, to know 
three things: What were American intentions in the Far East? 
What secret weapons did we possess? What was the plan of 
maneuver for U. S. Forces in Korea? 

As I think about it now, there may have been a special rea- 
son for that last question, on September 15. The tide of war 
was turning and IL S. Marines and soldiers were either land- 
ing at Inchon or steaming toward it in the flanking amphibious 
assault that broke the back of the North Korean Army in 
1950. As the minimum, North Korean intelligence must have 
guessed that something was going on and must have been 
highly curious about the location of a couple of divisions they 
knew to be in the Far East but hadn't seen on the southern 
battle lines for a while. So I don't wonder that the general 
wanted to know our plan of maneuver. As a matter of fact, 
I was curious about it myself, but for obvious reasons rather 
glad I didn't know just then. 

I told him that I didn't have any of this information, but 
succeeded only in bringing on a harangue, which was broken 
only when I had to excuse myself to go to the latrine. This 
was one activity with which none of my interrogators ever 
felt inclined to interfere. 

The gist of what the general had to say the rest of the night 
was that I was completely at their mercy, they were going to 
try me as a war criminal for things I had done as military 
governor in 1948, nobody would know what had happened 
to me because the American newspapers and radio already 
had reported me as dead, and they had "trained operators" 
who would make me talk, whether I wanted to or not. 

Finally he said that he would give me a few minutes to 
think things over. I was taken to an anteroom and given a cup 

The Battle of Ideas 1 3 5 

of tea. I was so very tired I went to sleep sitting there. Lee 
said I snored. 

After a few minutes I was awakened and led in to see the 
general again. When I said I had not changed my mind about 
talking he was angry. He said, "You won't talk?" 


"Then you must sign a statement saying f why you won't 

I said that would be all right with me. On a paper I wrote: 

Fortunately I do not know the information you seek. But even if 
I did, I would not give it to you, because by so doing I would be 
a traitor to my country. So help me God. William F. Dean. 

Lee, the interpreter, captured later by American forces 
when they took Pyongyang, said of this incident: "General 
Dean disclosed nothing. He was given two days to change 
his attitude and reminded that the American press and radio 
had reported him dead, so it was left to the Communist peo- 
ple to dispose of him as they saw fit." 


Colonel Kim ana Friends 

Once again, my signature for the general at Pyongyang seemed 
to get him off some sort of hook, and they let me go back 
to Sunan, where another doctor came to see me. He struck 
me as having more sense than the previous medical visitors. 
He did give my chest the usual thorough thumping, but he 
also took some specimens and asked me what our doctors 
would do in a similar case. When I told him sulfathiazol, 
he nodded his head knowingly at least he'd heard of the med- 
icine. He put me on a chook diet chook is rice cooked until 
it is soft and gummy, with lots of water in it. Nobody likes 
this, and I was no exception, but it was all I got for days. 

Then the delightful Colonel Kim came back. He was still 
wondering if I would cooperate, and I signed another note 
saying that I would not, that I had not changed my mind, that 
I had no information and would not give them any if I did. 

Kim went away, but that night September 1 6 returned 
with three other officers. They set up a table in the room 
where the guards were sleeping and for hours pored over 
papers. Colonel Kim came into my room once to tell me, 
"Well, tomorrow we're going to interrogate you. I have 
trained assistants who are going to get what we want to 


Colonel Kim and Friends 1 3 7 

I thought the next day might be tough, so I went to bed and 
got some sleep. 

They started about nine o'clock in the morning, after spend- 
ing a couple of hours getting their papers in order. There 
were three interrogators working in shifts: two lieutenant 
colonels, Choi and Hong, and a Major Kim, just to confuse 
the name situation. A second interpreter, Tal, came along to 
spell Lee. 

The interrogation took place in my room. I sat on a straight 
chair (which had been hand-made by somebody who hated 
the human race and wanted to make all members of it uncom- 
fortable) facing a table, with one of the interrogators on the 
other side. The interpreter also sat in a straight chair, at one 
side; and a guard usually stood, holding his sub-machine gun. 
When Colonel Kim came in now and then to see how 
they were getting along, he'd loll in one of the easy chairs. 
The room was icy I would guess the temperature at about 
thirty-three degrees above zero and the Koreans all wore 
heavy overcoats. I started out in my summer suit, and sock- 
footed. In all Korean houses the removal of shoes is a pre- 
requisite to polite entry. To me, it was even more important 
to have my shoes off, for my infected left foot had not been 
treated and was now the size of a small balloon. My weight 
loss had left no padding on my hip bones, and when that 
home-made chair became unbearable I would sit on both 
hands, which also swelled to twice their normal size. 

Lieutenant Colonel Choi began the questioning, using a 
prepared list of inquiries, mostly about military matters. The 
session lasted four hours, broken only when I had to go to the 
latrine, at which times a guard accompanied me. 

Choi started easily, and typically. Who, he wanted to know, 
had been the assistant commander and the artillery commander 

1 3 8 General Dean's Story 

when I had the jth Division In South Korea in the autumn of 
1948? I asked him if he had not read the newspapers. Those 
names had been in them, numerous times, but I couldn't re- 
member them, certainly, after such a long time. 

Incidentally, Colonel Kim had prefaced the actual interro- 
gation by giving me a small and informative lecture. More 
than forty members of the South Korean Assembly, he told 
me, had come north voluntarily and were now enrolled in 
the Communist cause. Furthermore, he had absolute proof that 
the war had been started on the orders of General MacArthur. 
This "proof" consisted of a typed statement, allegedly made 
by a man (whose name I don't remember now) who had been 
in the South Korean government as one of the various minis- 
ters. The statement declared that he (the statement signer) 
knew Syngman Rhee had gone to Tokyo early in June and 
had received orders to begin the war, to invade North Korea 
prior to July i . I repeat these claims endlessly and to the point 
of boredom because these were essential parts of the Commu- 
nists' carefully prepared "prooffor the benefit of their own 
people rather than the International community that South 
Korea had started the war. Through tiresome and endless 
repetition of such trash, they probably did succeed in con- 
vincing most North Koreans that they were fighting a defen- 
sive battle. 

Colonel Kim also showed me a photograph of John Foster 
Dulles, standing in a trench with U. S. officers and South 
Korean soldiers and pointing to something out of the camera's 
range. This, said Kim, was further proof. Dulles was pointing 
north, telling the South Koreans where to attack, giving 
instructions for the invasion. 

I don't remember what I said to all this. I'm sure it wasn't 
important, because to this day I don't know exactly why you 

Colonel Kim and Friends 1 3 9 

go about refuting absolute absurdities or lies so bald. Once the 
lie or the absurdity has transcended the whole realm of reason- 
ableness, there simply is no reasonable answer. 

Kim also made a great point of dates. North Koreans, he 
claimed, had done no fighting until June 26, although the 
ROK troops had invaded North Korea on June 25. I didn't 
know what I was talking about, he said, when I gave him the 
date of June 25 for the start of the southern invasion. Well, 
for a while I just listened to this, but finally he made me lose 
my temper. I said, "Now listen, you can do a lot of things, 
but to try to tell me, a military man, that a six-pronged inva- 
sion, including amphibious operations, was nothing more than 
a counterattack is just plain dumb. As far as the South Koreans 
being ordered by us to start the war, the whole idea is absurd. 
Nobody would conceivably order a war started when all the 
top officers were out of the country. You may take me for a 
damn fool, but I'm not that silly." 

Nevertheless, he continued, then and later, to spend hours 
trying to convince me the South Koreans had started the war. 

Lieutenant Colonel Choi spent a long time on the 1948 or- 
ganization of the yth Division. I don't know whether he 
didn't realize that American general officers seldom stay in any 
one division job two years, or whether the questions were 
merely a warm-up. But the answers could not possibly have 
made the slightest difference in the fall of 1950. He also 
wanted me to tell him the names of the Republic of Korea 
chiefs of staff (there had been three in about the same number 
of weeks at the start of the war) , ROK division commanders, 
and the location of ROK divisions at the time I was captured. 
Some of this information I actually did not have; and about 
the rest of it I developed a convenient lack of memory. 

Then we moved to tack number two. Choi told me how 

1 40 General Dean's Story 

aggressive ROK division commanders were, how all of them 
but one had a Japanese Army background. He proceeded to 
name each division commander, each corps commander, and 
the various chiefs of staff, telling me what they had done for 
the Japanese, where they had served. He gave me a detailed 
dossier on every man, including his relatives and what jobs 
they held. The information was complete, even to the fact 
that Lee Heung Koon, one of the South Korean generals 
whom they apparently hated with especial fervor, had as a 
young lieutenant taken a blood oath of fealty to the Japanese 

These were things far beyond any information I had ever 
had about the South Korean generals. Why he wanted answers 
from me when he had seemingly complete records in front 
of him is a little hard to understand, but we spent hours on 
this line of inquiry. 

Then he shifted gears. What secret weapons did we have? 
Were we going to use the atom bomb? What would be our 
target? (Obviously they were scared to death that we might 
use it.) How did our airplanes home on a target? How did 
they find their way? What types of planes did we have in the 
Far East? How many airfields in Japan? (He knew about a 
good many I had not known were in operation again.) The 
questions went on and on, and I almost wore out those vocal 
cords which form the words, "I don't know." I was tempted 
to manufacture a few secret weapons just for his benefit, but 
resisted. The trouble with that sort of lying is that we might 
actually have some of the things I dreamed up. In war things 
happen very fast. So I said nothing, although I could have 
created some dillies out of my imagination. 

We stopped a few minutes for lunch, and then Lieutenant 
Colonel Hong took over. He was a big, well-built Korean, 

Colonel Kim and Friends 141 

weighing perhaps a hundred and eighty pounds. Hong was a 
labor specialist, and I learned from his questions that he had 
been in Seoul, helping to organize strikes and sabotage, when 
I was military governor. He boasted that he had never been 
to second school (meaning high school) but was nevertheless 
a well-read Marxist, knew the Communist Manifesto by heart, 
and could quote the Geneva Convention (on the treatment of 
prisoners in war and allied matters) by paragraph. When 1 
protested that as a prisoner of war, under the Geneva Con- 
vention, I could not be questioned except about my name, 
rank, and serial number, he stated, quoting paragraph so-and- 
so, that in special cases prisoners could be required to give 
further information. I was a special case, he said, because I was 
a war criminal, so he could question me about the 1947-48 
acts that had made me one. 

I was getting fairly well accustomed to this title of "war 
criminal." Both Colonel Kim and General Pak had used it 
earlier; and Pak had added that as military governor I had 
been responsible for the deaths of "many patriots." I could 
have said that most of those killed might have been patriots 
to him but were also murderers and wreckers, but it hardly 
seemed worth while at the time. 

Hong's questioning started with the massacre of policemen 
and their families at Taegu, a 1 946 event that had been one of 
the low spots in our early occupation of Korea. About this he 
wanted to know who was to blame, why some American 
officers in the area were transferred all the details. I couldn't 
be of much help to him. In 1 946 I had been in Leavenworth, 
Kansas, and Korea still had been only a remote spot on the 
map to me. 

From that episode he went through virtually every event up 
until the time the war started, with special emphasis on the 

i4 2 General Dean's Story 

wave of railroad sabotage that had disrupted our communica- 
tions in February 1948, when I had * been governor. In each 
case he obviously was trying to put the whole onus on the 
military ,,and on American officials especially me. We went 
over and over the guerrilla campaign on Cheju island, the 
South Korean Army mutiny, and the railroad strikes that had 
occurred while I was in Korea; we also went over and over 
things that had occurred before I came or after I left. Why 
had I sent troops and police to Cheju-do? Why had I impris- 
oned railroad and streetcar strikers? Why had I arranged the 
elections of 1948 in the manner I had? 

During this session I permitted myself to argue occasion- 
ally; on military matters 1 had said almost nothing. But Hong's 
absurdities succeeded in making me angry among them, more 
about the United States ordering the war started. Again I 
stated, 'That's nonsense on the face of it. Even if we ever 
planned to do anything that silly, we certainly wouldn't do it 
when our troops were all over Japan on maneuvers. If we were 
going to start a war deliberately, which we never do, at least 
we'd be ready. We wouldn't have to scurry around after it 
started in order to get ships to carry our army to the fighting." 

At last we had twenty or thirty minutes for supper. I was 
eating as well as the rest of them, but never had much time to 
do it. I don't think they were deliberately attempting to make 
me sick. It was just that they had no hospital facilities or de- 
cent medical treatment, and very little food. Actually I think 
they believed they should get me well, so that they could get 
more out of me. 

In the evening Major Kim took over, with the best-prepared 
notes and the most searching questions of the three. He con- 
centrated on questions concerning the economics of South 
Koreawhy we had not built more industries, why we 

Colonel Kim and Friends 143 

brought in food for the Koreans rather than more instruments 
of food production, why we hadn't constructed fertilizer 
plants but were exploiting the country. 

I said once, "That's just your opinion." 

Fie immediately became wildly angry. "You're not cooper- 
ating! You're toadying to rank. You're very nice when a 
colonel talks to you, and not too bad when a lieutenant colonel 
talks, but you won't cooperate with a mere major." 

The techniques of the questioners had one thing in common. 
A question frequently consisted of a statement, paragraphs 
long, followed by three words: "What's your opinion?" 

For example, Major Kim spent hours telling me about 
unemployment in the United States, the defects of capitalism 
and so-called free enterprise, the ills of our country. 

Finally, tiring of this, I said, "Have you ever been to the 
United States?" 

He said he had not. 

I said, "And you're trying to tell me about things I was 
born and raised with! I know more about the political struc- 
ture of the United States than you do, and more about condi- 
tions than you do. You're young. When you grow up, maybe 
you'll learn something, but I'm old enough to be your father. 
Talk about being ignorant! You're the ignorant one." I didn't 
tell him, "I can sing louder than you," but I suppose I might 
as well have done so. 

He jumped up. "I'll have you know," he said, "that I have 
my doctor's degree, and I got it by writing on the political 
and economic situation of the United States. I was a professor 
of economics at Kim II Sung University, but the Inmun Gun 
thought so highly of my ability that they made me a major 
when the war started." 

Perhaps I would have been more impressed if my hands 

144 General Dean's Story 

hadn't hurt so much from sitting on them, and if I hadn't 

needed to go to the toilet just then. I went. 

Major Kim kept it up for his full four hours, and he had 
information that made some of the questions hard to answer. 
He had an annual report from the Chosen National Bank and 
referred to it frequently. He would say, "Here in 1938 there 
were so many chung-bo (equivalent to a hectare, or two and 
a half acres) under cultivation, but in 1948, when you were 
military governor, there were so many less. Why was that? 
Here you talk about feeding the people, but you have less 
land under cultivation and more people unemployed. You 
come over here, you bring the people food, but you make 
paupers out of the population. You didn't give them work, 
didn't establish any industry, or give them the means of pro- 
duction. The reason was, you wanted to import your own 
matches, your own cigarette lighters, your own pencils. Here 
in North Korea we make those things for ourselves. What is 
your opinion?" 

He was a smart boy and he had enough facts to make a 
fairly good case especially when I was sitting there with 
nothing to refer to, no figures to compete with his. 

But finally he too wilted, and Lieutenant Colonel Choi came 
back, fresh as a daisy, with more questions about military mat- 
ters. The interpreters had a rougher time than the interroga- 
tors, because there were only the two of them; they had to 
work shift and shift. 

As I relate this, I can't be sure just which questions were 
asked in which session, or the exact division among the three 
questioners; but I do remember that Choi emphasized ques- 
tions about the air war a great deal. Why did we have fields 
on Okinawa? What was our objective? Obviously he thought 
I was the most stupid general officer he'd ever encountered. 

Colonel Kim and Friends 145 

Finally I said, "Well, you were lucky. So far as division 
commanders are concerned, you were fighting the second 
team when the war started. But we'll have the first string in 
presently perhaps we do now, for all I know and then it'll 
be a different story. You have to remember that all American 
generals are not as dumb as I am. You just happened to catch 
the dumbest." 

I got Hong's attentions again in the middle of the night, 
then the special ministrations of Colonel Kim, who interrupted 
the questioning for an hour to reprimand me for failing to 
answer questions. I still was not cooperating. While he talked 
my teeth were chattering, and this seemed to annoy him. I 
also was shivering. 

The colonel said, "What are you shivering for, making 
your teeth go that way for? Are you cold?" 

I said, "Yes, I'm a little chilly." 

"This isn't cold," he said. "This isn't cold at all. Take off 
your coat. Take off your shirt. Take off your trousers and 
your undershirt. I'll show you what it means to be cold." 

I ended up in my shorts. The temperature was still thirty- 
three degrees. 

Then Choi went back to work. After an hour, during which 
Colonel Kim departed, Choi also was annoyed by my teeth 
chattering, because he said, "You may put on your under- 
shirt." I could see the pattern now. Choi was to be the kind 
person, my only friend during this endurance contest, while 
Colonel Kim (who had already shouted too much to pretend 
to be kind now) would play the part of the rneanie. It's an old 
police interrogation technique that has whip-sawed many a 
criminal into a confession. 

The undershirt felt wonderful, even though it was only a 
cotton T-shirt, and I was allowed to keep it on until Colonel 

146 General Dean's Story 

Kim returned an hour or so later. Then I went back to shorts 
only once more. I didn't get the T-shirt again during the entire 

There were breaks for meals when I got nothing to eat 
except soft and watery chook, which left my mouth filled 
with white flakes, like alkali but the Choi-Hong-Kim, Kim- 
Choi-Hong-Kim succession never stopped for sixty-eight 
hours. The only other breaks I got were when Fd yell 
"Benjo," and run for the latrine outside the church. A guard 
always went with me, to see that I didn't loiter; and usually 
they lived right up to their orders. One enlisted man was a 
little kinder than the others, and when he was along I could 
steal a few seconds outside to stop and pick up chestnuts that 
had fallen from the trees. I ate them on the spot while he 
conveniently looked the other way, or hid them behind the 
cushions of the overstuffed chair in my room. 

Then Colonel Kim called a halt, after using the last hour 
himself to give me information. This consisted of his opinion 
that I would not cooperate, that I was a dog and a robber, 
"and," he said, "I'm going to treat you like a dog." He ordered 
the guards to take away the medicine, which had seemed to be 
doing me a little good, and to move my cot out into the 
guards' big room, where it was left in the middle of the 

Colonel Kim said, "No more washing. You can't wash, you 
dog! You can have one blanket and sleep over there in a 
corner on the floor. We're going to let you have some rest, 
but you'd better think it over and realize that you must co- 
operate. You want to remember that it's getting colder. If 
you fail to cooperate, we not only won't give you any clothes, 
we'll keep you outdoors." 

I'm not sure whether this was the time that he threatened 

Colonel Kim and Friends 147 

to have my tongue cut out, but he did at one time. I said, 
"Go ahead and cut it out. Then you won't be able to make 
me talk." After that I heard nothing more of that particular 

I had no trouble getting to sleep on the smooth boards of 
the floor. During the sixty-eight hours I had been allowed no 
sleep, and the guard would yell at me or kick me with his bare 
foot if I dozed in the straight chair. But I had been asleep only 
a few minutes when somebody tapped me with his foot until 
I awoke again. The awakening was for breakfast, which con- 
sisted of more sticky rice and an apple. I slept most of that 
day and that night, rolling off the bare floor onto the rug when 
the guard wasn't watching too closely. 

The next morning at eight, here came the boys again. Hong 
was the lead-off man, and Exhibit A was an alleged captured 
Sonth Korean government report of the suppression measures 
taken against guerrillas and Communists in 1949, including the 
burning of forty thousand homes, the slaying of large numbers 
of guerrillas and sympathizers, and the loss of many police 
officers and soldiers. Also, he had a large photograph of one 
guerrilla's head, impaled on a pole. What, he wanted to know, 
was my conclusion about that? 

I didn't have any. I had been in Japan that year. 

Then we shifted back a year, to Cheju-do and photographs 
taken of me with anti-guerrilla leaders there. Guerrillas had 
constantly hampered our occupation government and the 
new South Korean government on this island off the south- 
west tip of the peninsula, and the isolation of the place made 
control quite difficult. When I was governor I sent both 
constabulary troops and police detachments there to try to 
restore order; but for a time it seemed to me that they were 
fighting each other rather than the bandits in the hills. On an 

148 General Dean's Story 

inspection trip, Colonel Rothwell Brown discovered evidence 
that civilian women had been killed without trial, and I sent a 
summary court-martial officer down. He tried several police- 
men, who were given prison terms of twenty-five years each. 
At another time I went to the island myself, taking the 
leaders of Korean constabulary, police, and civil administra- 
tions just to make sure they did issue orders which would 
stop the bloody confusion. Even with this effort the election 
of 1948 was badly botched (the only place in Korea where 
frauds were completely obvious) and ballot boxes were stolen 
and would-be voters intimidated. As a result, I was forced to 
declare the election void on the island, and to order it held 


After the South Koreans took over their own government 
trouble continued on the island. In October 1948 the i4th 
ROK Regiment was ordered to embark from Yosu; instead, 
mutineers killed many of their own loyal officers and started 
to take over that part of South Korea, at the extreme southern 
tip of the peninsula. Immediately other ROK forces, led by 
Brigadier General Song Ho, were sent to quell the mutiny. 
There was a bitter battle; and after the loyal ROK had won it, 
several of the mutiny leaders were executed summarily. 
Others escaped into the mountains and headed up guerrilla 
units, which continued to harass the South Korean govern- 
ment up to the war, then started cooperating with the Com- 
munists from the north. 

Hong and Choi, at Sunan, went over and over these events, 
trying to prove that I had ordered executions and had been 
responsible for the entire mess. I got tired of all this conversa- 
tion and said, "Well, you're wasting your time trying to get 
me to admit responsibility for things that happened when I 
was military governor. It's your language, not mine; and you 

Colonel Kim and Friends 149 

have all the names and the figures. I can't possibly put np a 
factual defense, having nothing to work with, so go ahead and 
shoot me. I never sanctioned the killing of any soldier or 
civilian without trial; but if any were killed without trial, in 
the final analysis it was my responsibility. Anything that 
occurred while I was military governor I was responsible for. 
Why don't you just shoot me? Don't wait and go through the 
farce of a trial." 

This wasn't exactly bravery, in the ordinary sense, because 
I was quite certain that nothing I said or failed to say would 
make any difference I was sure they were going to shoot me 

Once more they shifted the emphasis, to the national elec- 
tions of 1948. The top exhibit was a series of photographs of 
police officers lining up men and women, presumably to force 
them to vote. The photos probably were from one of the 
isolated border towns from which we had received reports of 
this sort at the time. 

But so far as I was concerned that had been the only free, 
secret-ballot election in Korea in four thousand years, and I 
was proud of the way it had been handled. I had organized 
local committees, made speeches telling the people of the 
importance of voting, held endless conferences. For the elec- 
tion period itself, I had stopped all military government work 
and sent out more than a thousand people to visit all the 
different voting areas, making sure that just such incidents as 
these did not occur, that no one was forced to vote. We did 
not have the personnel to keep someone at each polling place 
all the rime it was open, but we covered all the major spots 
and at least visited practically every other spot. 

During the preparations and the election itself some eighty- 
two policemen and sixty election officials had been killed, and 

150 General Dean's Story 

there had been fires in polling places and other property dam- 
agebut on the whole it had been a free election, held by a 
people who did not know anything about elections. The kill- 
ings and the burnings, I felt, had almost all been done either 
by Communists or at the instigation of Communists \vho were 
ready to do anything to prevent the new government from 
being organized just as later they were willing to start a war 
to prevent it from functioning. 

In the questioning, these boys at Sunan weren't interested 
in any facts other than that I had been responsible for holding 
an election, therefore for all the official deaths. I remember 
Choi saying, "Why do you think these officials were killed? 
Because the people wanted to vote? No, it was because they 
were being forced to vote." 

I began to have some idea, in these hours, what the term 
"war criminal" can mean which is anything the people apply- 
ing it wish it to mean. And I could talk all day about the 
fact that eighty per cent of the people registered and ninety 
per cent of the registered voters cast a ballot, or about any 
other figures I wished without making the slightest impres- 

Oddly enough, in the middle of a session in which I was 
being called a robber and a running dog of Wall Street, one 
of my interrogators Hong, I think paid me a sudden compli- 

"One thing we have to admit about you, though," he said, 
"and that is that you never violated Korean womanhood. 
You're a thief and a murderer, but you never had a con- 
cubine." Apparently their excellent prewar intelligence system 
in Seoul had interested itself in all sorts of details. 

It was also Hong who informed me that it was only a matter 
of time before the United States would be Communist, and he 

Colonel Kim and Friends 1 5 1 

read off a list of the principal offices of the Federal Bureau 
of Investigation and their territories. 

This sort of thing might ordinarily be dismissed as common 
knowledge, but it did frighten me a little. Several times I had 
been warned that I should be thinking about my family, who 
might not be as safe as I imagined in Berkeley, California. 
Both General Pak and Colonel Kim had warned me that if I 
didn't start cooperating, something unpleasant would cer- 
tainly happen to Mildred or to my children. 

As the second interrogation continued I began to notice a 
few amusing things. One was a sure way to make the inter- 
viewerany of them hit the ceiling. So many of these ques- 
tions actually were long statements, harangues, and the only 
real query was at the end: "What is your conclusion?" 

I'd just say, "I have no conclusion," and the interrogator 
would blow his top. He'd worked a long time over that com- 
plicated statement, and he hated to waste it for just one measly 
little four-word answer. 

The questioning did not go on steadily. There were periods 
of an hour or two when the interrogators were out of the 
room, but they didn't do me much good. My hands were 
swollen to ham size, my hip bones were like two boils, and 
sitting down at all was continuous misery; but I still had to 
sit there as if being questioned. If I nodded the guard would 
shout or kick me with his bare feet. And in these silence 
periods I always had trouble in getting the guard to allow me 
to go to the toilet. I'd say "Benjo," but frequently he would 
shake his head in a negative. I couldn't have that, so I'd just 
go out anyhow. That left him no choice but to come with me 
or shoot me, and I guess he'd have been in the soup if he shot 

In that church at Sunan I became so acclimated to continu- 

1 5 2 General Dean's Story 

ous cold that I grew a whole new set of ideas about comfort. 
And ever since I've been home I want the windows wide open 
when other people are shivering. I freeze out all my friends 
if Fm not careful. 

Sometime during the second interrogation Colonel Kim 
came back to take an active hand. He said, "You say you have 
no knowledge of America's intentions in the Far East, you 
have no knowledge of the plan of maneuver, you have no 
knowledge of secret weapons. But you do have knowledge of 
the defense plans for Japan. You could not possibly have held 
the positions you've had in your Army if you didn't know 
these defense plans." 

He worked on that for two or three hours, yelling, storm- 
ing, and asking the same questions over and over. While he 
was at it I just sat there. Once he screamed, "You're sleeping 
with your eyes open!" 

That was a good one. The interpreter had trouble with it, 
but I got a small chuckle anyhow. I wished I were doing just 

After Kim got all through that time, he said that he was 
getting tired and if I didn't start cooperating soon, they'd take 
measures to see that I did. Up to now, he added, they had not 
done anything to me that our own intelligence officers didn't 
do. He was just using our own CIC methods. 

The other three interrogators were tired too, so they let me 
go back to sleep on the floor without my blanket. I was 
keeping track, just for my own satisfaction, and they had not 
done so well: it had taken only forty-four hours to wear out 
the three of them, plus Colonel Kim. This was about four a.m. 
I slept on the floor most of the day and was looking forward 
to another night's rest. I felt I wasn't in too much trouble yet. 
Fd had experience in staying awake before. During a New 

Colonel Kim and Friends 1 5 3 

Year's Eve attack in Europe, in 1944, I worked four days 
without sleep, and I knew I could do that well again; I 
thought, "Well, if they get over five or six days, I'll probably 
just go to sleep in spite of them." 

This Communist army life was not all gravy for the enlisted 
men. Whenever they were awake but not actually on guard, 
they spent their time doing their Communist doctrine home- 
work or holding classes. Sometimes even the duty guard would 
be working on his papers, copying something while he kept 
one eye on me. They copied by the hour, and most of them 
got paper for the work by stealing it calmly from the desk in 
the interpreters' little room behind my own. They also lifted 
any cigarettes anyone had been careless enough to leave on a 
desk or in a drawer. For entertainment they practiced throw- 
ing rope bonds on each other, getting so they could tie a 
prisoner's hands tight enough to cut off the circulation in a 
few seconds. 

I did not get that night's rest. About nine p.m. I was awak- 
ened. Nobody said we were going to dance again, but I got 
the general idea. Major Kim came on stage, then Hong, then 
Choi, but they all showed signs of running out of questions. 
I would be left alone with a guard for hours, still having to 
sit in that uncomfortable chair and being kept awake, but at 
least not having to listen to any more of those fancy argu- 
ments. Whenever they'd think up a new question or one more 
way to ask an old one over again, one of them would come in 
and work on me for a while. 

Now and then they'd vary the procedure by giving me an- 
other lecture about the American War between the States, 
reminding me how much the United States had resented Brit- 
ish aid to the Confederate States, and what a furor there had 
been over a British threat to interfere. 

154 General Dean's Story 

"This," they said, "is our civil war, not yours. We're not 
attacking America, we're not bombing America, we have no 
designs on America, and yet you come over here and interfere 
in our civil war. You're fighting in our house." That was a 
constant refrain. 

In this manner we passed the night, the next day, and most 
of the next night thirty-two hours. About the second mid- 
night Colonel Kim took over once more, for what w T as to be 
the last interrogation. He was in a standing-up, table-pounding 
mood, and got himself so worked up that phlegm flew out of 
his mouth. Tal, whom I liked because he just translated in a 
monotone, like a machine, never mirroring the shoutings and 
rantings of the interrogator, w r as the interpreter. 

Colonel Kim was talking about the murder of innocents by 
our aircraft when I broke in, "I've seen atrocities committed 
by your troops worse than anything you've mentioned. I've 
seen our men captured, then murdered in cold blood while 
they had their hands tied behind them, at Chochiwon. And I 
talked to a lieutenant who saw your men drive prisoners ahead 
of them, to try to get others to surrender then shoot them 
when we opened fire to repel an attack." 

This so infuriated Colonel Kim that he yelled, "Close your 
eyes! I'm going to spit in your face." 

I should have said, "Spit, you creep, and I'll knock you on 

your ." But I just wasn't up to it physically. I said, "Close 

my eyes? Go on and spit! You've been spitting in my eyes for 
the last half -hour." 

I don't know how the interpreter told him that, but it must 
have been accurate. I thought Kim was going to have 

He said, "All right, this is the end. We're going to torture 


Gun That 'Wouian^i Fire 

Colonel Kim leaned back. "Do you know," he asked, "how 
we torture people?" 

I said, "No." 

He described a process in which water is forced into either 
the mouth or the rectum, under pressure. The latter, he said, 
"forces everything in you, everything, to come out through 
your mouth. It's very sickening." 

I said, "That sounds good to me. The shape I'm in, you 
won't have to use much pressure. I think that'll kill me 
quickly. That sounds all right." 

He had been fuming, but now he spluttered. "Sometimes," 
he said, "we drive bamboo splinters up under the fingernails 
and then set fire to them." 

The setting fire didn't sound too bad to me, but that busi- 
ness of driving the splinters hurt just thinking about it. I 
laughed at him, but perhaps the laughter was a little forced. 
I was fearful he might be telling the truth. 

"Also," he said, "we have electrical treatments. The build- 
ing where we use these, our laboratory, is just a mile from 
here, and in the morning we'll take you there." 

It was almost morning. 

He said, "You know that you're dead? Your own people 
think you're dead, so we can do anything to you that we 

156 General Dean's Story 

want to do. Under torture you'll probably die, but not be- 
fore you've given us the information we want. We will get 
that. You probably won't live but your death won't be too 
fast for you to give me the information I want in detail. I've 
never failed yet. Do you want to write a last message?" 

I said, "No." 

He said, "Then you must sign a statement that you do not 
want to write a last message." 

It was another one of those foolish things. I said, "Okay, 
I'll write a last message. I'll write a last letter to my family." 

He gave me paper and a pencil, and I wrote: 

Dear Mildred, June, and Bill, I was physically captured on 25 
August and have been a prisoner of war ever since. I did not sur- 
render but was physically overpowered. Before I was captured I 
wandered in the hills for thirty-five days, without food. As a result 
I am terribly ill and do not think that I will live much longer. 
Therefore this is my last letter. June, do not delay in making your 
mother a grandmother. Bill, remember that integrity is the most 
important thing of all. Let that always be your aim. Mildred, re- 
member that for twenty-four years you have made me very, very 

That was all. 

When it was translated for him Colonel Kim said, "What? 
Why do you say that you are so ill? That you're going to 
die? Why don't you tell them we're going to kill you?" 

I was a little out of patience. I swear too much, but per- 
haps this time it was justified. I said, "Why, you dumb bas- 
tard! I know you'd never send out any letter which said that. 
If I'm going to write a letter to my family I want them to get 
it. I didn't write that for your benefit. I wrote that so my 
family would know I was dead, and what I was thinking 

A Gun That Wouldn't Fire 1 5 7 

about. You're so damn dumb! Now you can kill me and It'll 
never be held against you. You've got everything you want. 
I've stated that if I die it's by natural causes." 

He just looked at me. He looked at me as if I were the 
most stupid individual he'd ever seen in his life. He said, "All 
right. In the morning we'll go to the laboratory," and he 
stomped out. 

Remarkably, a guard had brought back my blanket. I 
rolled up in it, in the corner on the floor, and after a little 
while scooted over on the rug, where it was a tiny bit 

One guard always walked a post outside this church build- 
ing and another always was in my room, each of them armed 
with a sub-machine gun. But they had one extra gun, one of 
those regular sub-machine guns with a circular ammunition 
drum. Through cracks in the partition between my room and 
the guard's room I had noticed that this extra gun always sat 
in a corner between the wall of the building and the partition, 
on the side opposite me. The only furniture in that guards' 
room was my cot, which had been left there when Colonel 
Kim ordered it taken away from me. The guards all slept on 
the floor. In my room several straight chairs still remained, 
the table, and also the two big overstuffed chairs, although 
I never had a chance to use them. When no officer was pres- 
ent, a room guard frequently flopped down in one of them. 
Sometimes he dozed. 

This morning while I was lying on the floor I thought, 
"Well, this is the day. If they take me up to that torture 
building, I'm so weak that I might say something, I might 
tell them something before I die. I've got to get that gun." 

This was not a new idea. Previously I'd made vague plans 
that when I was strong enough I would try to get it, some- 

1 5 8 General Dean's Story 

how, for an escape attempt. But at this time I couldn't have 
made a hundred yards even if nobody interfered with me. 
I thought, "Well, that's out now, but I've still got to get the 
gun. I've got to knock myself off, and fast, before they tor- 
ture me." The trouble was, you see, I did know the defense 
plans for Japan. 

The guard in my room slumped down in the chair and 
obligingly went to sleep almost immediately. That left the 
twenty guards in the other room. If they all went to breakfast 
in the cook-shack next door and the guard on duty still didn't 
waken, the time would be ripe. 

About five-thirty a.m. they all trooped out. Colonel Kim, 
Choi, Major Kim, and Hong all slept in the cook-shack or 
so I thought. The interpreters were in their own room, with 
the door shut. When the guards left I slid quietly out of my 
blanket and started crawling. 

At Taejon months before I had examined one of those guns 
with the drum magazine. Clarke had taken a captured sample 
apart and together we had succeeded in reassembling it. I felt 
I was quite good with that double-triggered rig. I thought, 
"When I get it, I'll fire one short burst out of the window in 
the general direction of the cook-shack. If old Colonel Kim's 
on the ball hell come fogging out of there to see what it's 
all about. The second burst will get him. Then I'll stick the 
muzzle in my mouth and finish the jobbut I'll have Kim's 
company when I go. I wouldn't want to miss that." 

As I crawled to the door between the two rooms I glanced 
up at the sleeping man in the chair. I could get only a partial 
look at him. But I was startled. The man sleeping there 
looked like Hong. I thought briefly, "Is he doing some of the 
guarding now?" but didn't take time to make sure. I went on 
around the partition and reached the corner, passing close to 

A Gun That Wouldn't Fire 1 5 9 

the cot on the way but not being able to see on top of it from 
my crawling position. 

I got the gun in my hands and came up to a kneeling posi- 
tion. I tried to pull the bolt back, but it jammed. I kept work- 
ing at it, but must have made some noise. 

There was a bellow behind me. From the cot not the chair 
the one-hundred-and-eighty-pound Colonel Hong swung 
down and rushed me. Instead of sleeping on the floor of the 
cook-shack where he belonged, like any good member of the 
proletariat, this big capitalist-thinking character had grabbed 
an opportunity to sleep on a soft mattress. 

I swung the gun. There was no time for Colonel Kim now, 
but I could still get Hong or could have, if I had solved that 
jammed bolt. Hong was a brave man. He charged right into 
the barrel of that gun and the damned thing still wouldn't 

Hong hit me from the front, my room guard from one 
side. Then there were Koreans all over me, although I don't 
know where in the world they all came from. In seconds it 
was finished. I couldn't move my arms or legs, and then I 
was being inarched back into my own room. Nobody beat 
me, however, or did anything else after they had overpow- 
ered me. I was seated in the straight chair, and was still sitting 
there when Lee, the interpreter, came in, his face blanched. 
The first thing he said was, "Why, General, you would have 
killed me!" 

I said, "No, Lee, I didn't want to kill you. I wanted to get 
that son-of-a-gun Kim, and myself. They said they were 
going to torture me this morning, and I didn't intend to be 

Lee hadn't been there when Colonel Kim was ranting, so 
I don't know how he was so sure, but he said, "Oh, they 

160 General Dean's Story 

didn't say that. They will never torture you. General, you 
must never take your own life. There's always hope. But Fm 
very much afraid you would have killed me, General." He 
went away, shaking his head. 

I never saw Colonel Kim again. I can only speculate about 
whether he was somehow disgraced by my suicide attempt 
(that would have been too bad) ; whether he simply gave me 
up as hopeless; or w r hether, somehow, he was bluffed. I do 
hope he didn't drop dead. He and 1 have a few things I still 
want to discuss, and Fd hate to think that there won't be 
another chance. 

They left me sitting in the chair, for once without break- 
fast, until midmorning, when Lieutenant Colonel Choi came 
in. Guards took the drawstring out of my shorts the only 
clothing I had and removed from the room everything else 
with which I might conceivably have harmed myself string, 
my knife and fork, everything. Thereafter I ate with a spoon, 
which was removed immediately after I laid it down. 

Choi said, "I want you to know that there is an increased 
guard, both here and in the village. You're to be tried for 
armed insurrection. How did you happen to do this? You 
were trying to escape, weren't you?" 

I said, "In my condition I don't think I could have. I 
wanted to kill Colonel Kim, and then I was going to kill 

He said, "No, you were trying to escape. That's armed 

He called in a guard and it was the one boy who had been 
kind to me, the one who had allowed me to pick up and hide 
chestnuts. Choi said, "Was this man asleep when you went 

A Gun That Wouldn't Fire 1 6 1 

I said, "No. Colonel Hong was asleep in that chair when 
I went out." I still thought this, at the time. 

He said, "No. Colonel Hong was on the bed in the other 
room. He's the man who took the gun away from you. This 
is the man who was on guard and went to sleep." 

If I hadn't said already that Hong had been asleep in the 
chair, there might have been a chance to cover up for the 
kindly guard, but now the fat was in the fire and there was 
nothing I could do. I said, "I don't know anything about that. 
I just crawled out there and got the gun. I don't know who 
was on guard or who was sleeping. But whoever the man on 
the bed was, he should be commended. You tell your chief 
that he's a brave man, because if I could have made that gun 
work he wouldn't be talking now." 

The poor little guard was led out. I can only presume that 
he, my friend, was shot for being asleep. 

That afternoon a lieutenant showed up to take direct 
charge of the guard, which had been run by sergeants before. 
In the evening Choi came in once more, and his attitude had 
changed. "Colonel Kim has gone," he told me, "and I'm going 
to have charge of you. You're a sick man and we're going to 
make you a patient. Before we do anything else, we must 
make you well." 

I got chook for dinner again, but other things went back 
to the pre-interrogation system. My cot, sheets, and blanket 
were brought back into the room, and I was allowed to sleep 
or get up as I chose. My clothes also were brought back. The 
next morning another doctor came to see me and gave my 
chest another resounding thumping. The only explanation I 
can give for this standard procedure by all Korean doctors 
is that they see so much tuberculosis, they just automatically 

1 62 General Dean's Story 

assume any patient must have it. He left some more medicine 

for me, and I went back to bed again. 

Choi was a changed man from then on, kindly and friendly. 
But on October i he said, "As a personal favor, will you 
write a letter for me? I'm leaving tomorrow night, and I'm 
supposed to get some information from you. Will you write 
what you think you could improve if you were to be mili- 
tary governor of South Korea again? What do you think 
you did well? Also, your personal opinion of Syngman Rhee. 
This will be a personal favor to me so my superiors will think 
I've accomplished something; and if you do it, I assure you 
that you'll go to a prisoner-of-war camp right away." This 
had been my reiterated request. 

It never was a matter of more than technical Interest in 
North Korea, but the Geneva Convention sets up definite 
rules for the treatment of all prisoners adequate food, cloth- 
ing, and reasonable care. A prisoner may be questioned le- 
gally only about his name, rank, and serial number. Officers, 
says the Convention, "shall be treated with due regard for 
their rank and age." Where possible, orderlies shall be pro- 
vided for officers who normally would have them in their 
own armies. The holding power is required to provide ad- 
vances against military pay in the case of general officers, 
classification number five, the local equivalent of seventy- 
five Swiss francs approximately eighteen dollars per month. 
Nothing is said specifically, however, about the size of camps 
in which they shall be held. On this one point, about which 
I made the most complaint, the Koreans technically were 
within their rights. So long as I had a prison-camp address, 
and the camp was In a place providing reasonable safety for 
me, the Convention did not require them to house me with 
other prisoners. Needless to say, however, I never saw any- 

A Gun That Wouldn't Fire 1 6 3 

thing like the required pay or orderly service, and whether 
my treatment corresponded to my age and rank can be 
judged from the details of it. 

On October 2 I wrote two notes for Choi. In the first I 
said that I was proud of our record in agriculture, the 
rehabilitation of cotton and silk mills, the production of pa- 
per, the building up of railroad and shipping lines. 

I did not write then, but might add now, that I would do 
a couple of other things. The first would be to emphasize to 
our own people the terrific harm done by thoughtlessness. 
Through all the questioning and my many subsequent con- 
versations with intelligent Koreans who had chosen commu- 
nism after knowing something about our government in 
South Korea, ran one refrain: they resented being called 
"gooks," and the slighting references to their race and color 
more than any of our policies, ill advised or not. Again and 
again I was told that this man or that one had come north 
because he had decided he never could get along with peo- 
ple who called him a "gook," or worse, among themselves; 
because he resented American attentions to Korean women; 
or because he hated to see foreigners riding in his country in 
big automobiles while he and his family had to walk. 

When I was governor a Korean newspaper, in a friendly 
news story, once called me "the general who walks," because 
of my habit of walking to the office for exercise, not politi- 
cal effect nosing around the streets of Seoul, and hunting for 
pheasant in the hills south of Yongdong-po. At the time I 
thought the title was amusing; but before I left Korea in 1953 
I realized that walking had been one of the best things I did 
in that job and much more effective than some of my care- 
fully planned activities. If I were governor again I would 
certainly walk more and so would a lot of other people in 

164 General Dean's Story 

the American part of the government. And use of the term 
"gook," or its many equivalents, by Americans, would be 
an offense for military punishment. 

On this day, however, I wrote no more about what I would 
change. To satisfy Choi's request about President Rhee I 
wrote: "I feel that he is a devoted patriot and lover of his 
country. He is a man who has devoted his whole life to a 
free and united Korea; and everything he does, he feels is 
in the best interests of his country." 

These notes satisfied Choi, who departed the same day. 

So did !, about ten p.m., in a great hurry. I got to take my 
two blankets, but the guards were in such a great hurry that 
they wouldn't even let me rescue my extra pair of shorts or 
a spare handkerchief, which were hanging on a clothesline 
outside the building to dry after being laundered. 

Our vehicle was a small truck. Besides the passengers it 
carried a couple of iron safes, which had nothing to do with 
me except as nuisance value, for they constantly banged 
against my knees. Tal went along, a lieutenant, the driver, 
and three guards U Eun Chur, Pack Chun Bong, and De 
Soon Yur. (These spellings, and many other transliterations 
of Korean words in this book, are phonetic, subject to vary- 
ing interpretations.) 

As we prepared to pull out, Lee said, "Good-by, General. 
Don't give up hope or try to kill yourself. You must live, and 
everything will be fine again, and you will see your family 
once more." 

Of the two interpreters I liked Lee the less, but I think I 
may have done him an injustice. He shouted at me when the 
interrogators shouted, ranted when they ranted, but this may 
have been only to impress the Korean officers. Lee went to 
Pyongyang on October 10 this I learned much laterand 

A Gun That Wouldn't Fire 1 6 5 

surrendered to American troops when they took the city nine 
days later. Under interrogation he told a straight story of his 
experiences with me and gave American officials the first de- 
tailed word that I still was alive. I believe now that he was 
trying to help me all the time, even when he urged me to 
manufacture stories to tell the interrogators during those long 
questioning sessions. I'm rather ashamed that I doubted him. 

I said good-by to him in front of the church that night. I 
should also have patted each of those chairs and given a really 
fond farewell to the mattress and cot. These were the last 
pieces of Western furniture I was to see for a long time. 

We moved north in the truck, along with convoy after 
convoy of other trucks, all running at night and in a hurry. 
Traffic jams were common, and some of them, particularly 
near Sukchon, monumental. Nothing had been said to me 
about any change in the military situation, but anyone could 
tell that something had happened. This was a retreating army, 
getting out fast. I noticed the especially heavy traffic coming 
from the coastal areas, and now know they were pulling out 
in fear of another amphibious attack, such as the one made 
at Inchon. 

It's not far to Huichon, about a hundred miles, but we were 
thirteen hours getting there. And on that cold night I was 
struck by the actual tenderness of the three guards, espe- 
cially U Eun Chur, the senior sergeant, in trying to keep me 
warm by holding a blanket over my shoulders. 

That trip was the first of many so similar that it is difficult 
to remember them individually; and U's kindness was almost 
my first experience with the many-sided, kind and cruel, 
inventive, clever, stupid, resilient, unpredictable Korean char- 
acter. The Koreans I speak of are not the politicians or mili- 
tary commanders, but the farm hands and soldiers, cooks and 

1 66 General Dean's Story 

prison guards, fine chess players and terrible watch-repair- 
men, the people who make communism possible. A good 
many things happened to me in the next months and years, 
but nothing more important than my opportunity to know 
these people as I never could have done in a lifetime as an 
uncaptured general. It may almost have been worth the three 

The outstanding single characteristic of most Korean coun- 
try-town hotels and ordinary Korean homes is that they have 
no furniture. I mean that literally. The Japanese run to pint- 
sized tables and low-slung lacquered cabinets, and the Chinese 
love screens and carved chests. The Korean does without any 
furniture whatever. 

In Huichon that next day I slept in a Korean hotel, on the 
floor; and for most of a thousand nights thereafter I con- 
tinued to sleep on floors sometimes on concrete or clay with 
flues imbedded in it, and hot to the touch; occasionally on 
matting over wood, the typical Japanese-style floor; much 
of the time on hard-packed dirt. 

The typical house of North Korea is a two-room structure 
with a kitchen. One room, about four by eight feet, is built 
below ground level, and one whole side of it is taken up by 
a sort of covered fireplace, open on the room side but topped 
with a flat clay or concrete cover, broken by three holes for 
cooking pots. Flues from the fireplace lead under the raised 
floors of the other two rooms, each about eight feet square, 
before the smoke escapes through a chimney. The kitchen is 
equipped with rice bowls and a stone water jar, in addition 
to the three cooking pots one for rice, one for soup, and the 
third for water. One room may contain a closet, but nothing 
else. The walls are mud, reinforced with com stalks; the roof 
is carefully thatched, the inside sometimes covered with paper 

A Gun That Wouldn't Fire 1 67 

and in between live the big Norway rats, happy in their 
burrowing place except when rains run down their tunnels 
and soften the paper underneath. Then the rats often fall 
through into the human living quarters, to the mutual upset 
of both parties. There may be a window or two, but rarely 
any glass. 

In such houses, which varied only in minor details, I lived 
three years. More important, in such houses the people of 
North Korea live all the time. On those floors they sleep, eat, 
work endlessly, and pore, hour after hour, over the texts of 
communism: the works of Stalin and Engels and the devil's 
mixture of fact and fancy, half-truth and outright lies, that 
spreads the infection. That concoction is beautifully prepared 
for just such people, with thousands of years of hunger and 
back-breaking toil in their backgrounds, cold and sickness 
and death as constant companions, and not the slightest con- 
ception of ease or comfort such as we know. 

One of the guards who left Sunan with me was De Soon 
Yur, and he was with me until a few weeks before I was 
repatriated. I came to know him well. If I were to try to 
change the mind of this convinced Communist and could bring 
him to the United States to accomplish it, I'm not sure that 
I'd bother to show him government buildings or legislatures 
at work, or even courts in which the accused has a chance for 
justice. Rather, I'd take De Soon Yur first of all to an Amer- 
ican supermarket and walk with him past a hundred-foot 
meat counter. Pd like him to see in one minute more meat 
kogi, in his language than he has seen in his entire life. I'd 
like to take him to a Petaluma, California, poultry processing 
plant (the squawking and bloodiness wouldn't bother him at 
all), where he could watch a trainload of chickens come in, 
then go out to market. Fd like him to see the milking ma- 

1 68 General Dean's Story 

chines in a modern dairy, Kansas wheat elevators and an Iowa 

cornfield, a big knitting mill and a thousand sheep in a 


I'm not sure that the processes of democracy would impress 
him or even interest him especially, for De Soon Yur is a 
practical man. If I could show him the products of democ- 
racythis man whose father and grandfather were hungry, 
and who knits beautifully because he must, in order to have 
a new pair of socks or gloves I think I might unmake a 
Communist very fast. 

What I am trying to say is that a glowing ideal is hard to 
sell to a hungry man eight thousand miles away. What we 
need for Korea is something to compare favorably to the 
Communist promises of a hectare of land without excessive 
rent, rice without too much millet in it, or a pencil produced 
in a factory right in his home town. 

However, I was not thinking of these things that day in 
Huichon, or that night, when we walked a few blocks to a 
Korean-Japanese house that is, one that had both a room 
heated by an onder (under-floor flues) and one with no heat 
in it but tatami mats on the floor. This room could have been 
heated by a charcoal-burning habachi or a stove, but I saw 
very few of either of these conveniences in North Korea. 

The night before, Tal again had assured me that we were 
going to a POW camp; now I asked about it once more, but 
was told, "I have been instructed to get you well and to re- 
store your health. Then you will go to a POW camp. But 
first I must do everything in my power to get you well." 

All this time I was unhappy at being kept away from a 
regular camp; but after I came home and read about the 
things that happened at those camps, I realized that I should 
have thanked my lucky stars that I was not in one of them. 

A Gun That Wouldn't Fire 1 69 

I never lived as badly as the men In them lived most of the 

I still had my two blankets and carried them from the hotel 
to the house myself, as my only luggage. My guards had only 
one blanket each but always slept in their clothing, which 
consisted of long cotton underwear, two or three pairs of 
trousers, and an equal number of shirts and sweaters. I was 
amazed by the layers of home-knit clothing they wore under 
their uniforms, which consisted only of trousers and a coat, 
with green tabs on their shoulders to show that they \vere 
members of the Security Forces, and a big T to show the rank 
of master sergeant which virtually all of these and later 
guards were. Shirts were various, and so were shoes. The 
whole outfit could be called a uniform only by courtesy. 

Tal seemed to be in charge of the group, although a lieu- 
tenant also was present; and while we were at Huichon he 
bought food with a lavish hand chicken, hog liver, beef 
heart, eggs, and greens, in addition to the Inevitable rice. We 
had no beverage (nor do most North Koreans) except suhn- 
nuhn, which is water boiled in the rice cooking pot after the 
rice has been removed but before the pot has been scraped. 
This is full of browned rice fragments and has a pleasant fla- 
vor. A bowl of this, taken with great slurpings of enjoyment, 
is the typical ending for a good Korean meal. If you ask for 
another bowl, you're looked at as if you were a pig. 

I was too ill to enjoy much of the food, and disappointed 
the woman cooking for us when she prepared what was an 
obvious treat sweet potatoes. In Korea it's always whole hog 
or none, so for that meal we had nothing but sweet potatoes. 
Each serving was six big ones. I had difficulty in eating two 
of the smaller ones, but I noticed that each guard ate his full 

1 70 General Dean's Story 

We stayed in Huichon ten days, and I about decided that 
this life as a prisoner was not too bad. The interpreter let me 
sit on a snnporch, in a spot where 1 could get the direct rays 
of the sun, which was warm in midday, even though this was 
October and the nights were becoming more and more chill. 
I'm a sun devotee, and this was real luxury to me. A doctor 
came to give my chest another thumping; he noticed that my 
hands and feet were swollen and suggested that kidneys might 
be at the root of my physical troubles. He lanced my infected 
left foot, heretofore untreated, and sent me some medicine, 
a salve, which cured it quickly. 

To relieve boredom during the days I killed flies. I picked 
up each of the dead carefully, for we slept and ate on that 

Then a major visited us, and in his wake came two of the 
restrictive orders that I was to get to know so well. Appar- 
ently the guard had complained about the fact that I didn't 
sleep weU at night; also that people might see me when I was 
sunbathing on the porch. Orders were issued that since I 
couldn't sleep well at night I must not He down at all during 
the day and this was enforced for more than eighteen months. 
I was also ordered to stay off the sunporch and forbidden to 
stand up inside the house. For eighteen months I could not 
stand up except to go from one spot to another, as my physi- 
cal necessities dictated, or on order. 

Housing already was at a premium in North Korea al- 
though the home-grounds war was just beginning in that 
area. But the Communist theory against private property 
fixed everything simply by making every private home a 
public place to be used as needed. Soldiers moved into homes 
with families, or by moving families out. Travelers were 
billeted by police order wherever there was a square foot of 

A Gun That Wouldn't Fire 1 7 1 

space not actually being occupied by somebody else. I think 
the woman who cooked for us may actually have owned the 
house we were in; we were billeted there with no permission 
from her. In the middle of one night the household suddenly 
was increased by the arrival of a grandmother, two younger 
women, six children, and a major acting as escort for these 
families of some high government officials (whose names I 
never did learn). They all crowded into the Japanese room 
of the house, while my guards, the interpreter, and the lieu- 
tenant helped to occupy mine. Remember, this was about 
eight feet square. Previously I had been able to sleep over 
the warmest flue; now I was lucky to get room enough to lie 

During the daylight hours I noticed that one or two United 
Nations light aircraft were almost constantly above us, as if 
on patrol; and during my last day at Huichon an air strike 
plunged down on the railroad area. The interpreter was in 
the center of town when the raid came. When he returned 
I asked him what the planes had been aiming for. 

He said, "The railroad." 

I said, "What did they get?" 

"One car in the streets," he told me, "one house on a cor- 
ner, and two women about four hundred yards from the 

After the air strike trains continued to run. 

That evening I heard a call which was to come frequently, 
"Pahli, pahli, pahli!" The rough translation is, "Hurry, hurry, 
hurry!" I packed up, which consisted of rolling my blankets, 
and presently the entire household except the cook walked to 
a police station, where we waited four hours until the same 
truck that had brought us to Huichon picked us up again. 
The women and children in the major's party also tried to 

1 7 2 General Dean's Story 

get in. There simply was not room, so finally we pulled away 
without the grandmother, a two-year-old girl, the interpreter, 
the lieutenant, and one guard. The major, two guards, the 
driver, and I were the only adult males. We joined the jam of 
northbound traffic, which was steadily growing heavier. This 
was a retreat, fast becoming a rout. At midnight we headed 
for the mountains to the north. 

Our truck was a very high vehicle, open-topped, loaded 
with luggage as well as the assorted human cargo. The cold 
was bitter, and I wrapped a blanket around my back to keep 
warm. After about two hours we came to a stop, blocked by 
a traffic jam ahead. We were halfway up a very steep moun- 
tain grade, with a two-hundred-foot drop to the right of the 
road. The major, the driver, and one guard walked ahead to 
investigate the delay, and the other guard stepped off the 
truck. I decided to rearrange my blankets around my shoul- 
ders. To shift position I stood up and stepped on the front 
seat, some seven feet from the ground. Then I yanked at the 
blankets behind meand jerked my own feet right out from 
under me. 

I pitched forward, could not free my hands, and landed on 
my head in the gravel. I rolled and went over the top of the 
cliff, grabbing for anything and one scrub tree was where 
I needed it. I hung on, and the tree held. When I looked up 
I was about six feet from the top. A river was two hundred 
feet below. 

Everyone on the truck began yelling and screaming, and 
in a moment U Eun Chur and the major both leaned over the 
brink. U reached down, and I scrambled partially up with his 
help. When the major reached down I assumed that he too 
would help me, but to my amazement he began slapping me 
around the head. 

A Giin That Wouldn't Fire 1 7 3 

I swore at him, "What in the hell do you think you're 
doing?" I really spoke sharply, and it seemed to help, even 
though he didn't understand English. He stopped slapping 
me and gave me a hand until I got back on the road. My head 
was bleeding, but I was more scratched than anything else 
and I wanted to kill that major with my bare hands. But again 
I just wasn't strong enough to try it. Instead I got back on 
the truck; and after a long time we moved ahead once more. 

Since no one spoke English I had to wait until the interpre- 
ter rejoined us, five days later, to find out what in the world 
that major thought he was doing. The interpreter then ex- 
plained, "He just lost his head and was very sorry. He 
thought you were trying to commit suicide, and he would 
have been very severely punished if anything had happened 
to you." 

This occurred on the morning of October 13. In the early 
light I saw men in padded uniforms marching south along the 
road. They carried cooking utensils suspended from poles on 
their shoulders; and Pm quite sure now that they w^ere Chi- 
nese troops. The location was about twenty miles north of 

Along the way I could see that the war was moving north 
almost as fast as we were. In a long valley leading toward 
Kanggye, a provincial capital, several villages were on fire, 
and aircraft were overhead frequently. Each time they ap- 
peared the truck would stop under a tree or beside an em- 
bankment, waiting until they passed. Thousands of civilians 
walked north along the highway; and from by-ways came 
whole cadres of unarmed youths, marching in military forma- 
tion under the charge of a soldier or two, carrying pistols. It 
looked like a mass mobilization of every male between the 
ages of fourteen and fifty. 

174 General Dean's Story 

The escort major grunted in satisfaction every time we 
passed one of these groups, but when we saw the smoking 
villages his curses were quite clear, even though in Korean. 

We stopped in Kanggye only for orders apparently, then 
drove on toward Manpo, reaching Choesin-dong, a suburb, 
that same day. Both Manpo, an industrial town with several 
large lumber mills, and this suburb, which is a railway junc- 
tion, lie on the Yalu River, the border between North Korea 
and Manchuria. 

My impression that the families with us were of some im- 
portance was bolstered when we were assigned billets. They 
were taken to one of the largest houses in this little town. 
Below the big house was a row of smaller places, perhaps 
built for railroad employees in the Japanese era; and I was 
taken to one of these. U and Pack, my two guards, went 
along. We were shown to a one-room house, with inside 
measurements of no more than six by six feet. The room was 
one of the filthiest I'd ever seen; and although it had a floor, 
I think the soil outside was cleaner. Part of the six-foot square 
was occupied by a closet, and the three of us used the rest for 
sleeping. Apparently our arrival had moved out a woman and 
her two-and-a-half-year-old child, because the child con- 
tinued to crawl in and out of the room, and the woman 
cooked for us and once or twice came to get something out 
of the closet. A young man also stepped over us while we 
were sleeping and from the closet got out the uniform of a 
second lieutenant in the Security Forces. Rank may have its 
privileges in the North Korean Army, but they don't include 
keeping a roof over your wife's head. The guards borrowed 
some of the lieutenant's cigarettes while he was changing into 
his uniform. When they asked him for a light he gave it to 
them, without complaint. 

A Gun That Wouldn't Fire 1 7 5 

I don't know where the woman and child went to sleep, 
but assume it must have been in one of the other row houses. 
She was still around the following morning, but made no 
move to feed us. After a long argument one of the guards 
went down toward the center of town and came back with 
some cooked pork fat and some sort of sweet roll, such as 
are served in Germany. 

I had been thinking about escape, of course, and thought 
more and more about the possibilities as the North Koreans 
moved farther back and more of our planes appeared. But the 
hard fact was I still couldn't hope to get anywhere. Even the 
hundred-yard walk from the truck to the house had been 
enough to leave me panting, my heart pounding with exhaus- 
tion. On the way I had to rest several times. Still separated from 
an interpreter, I could only guess what was going on. My most 
important thought was, "Well, this is still all right, just so 
long as they don't start interrogating me again. I can't use 
any more of that Colonel Kim." 

Oddly enough, there did not seem to be any great jam of 
refugees against the Chinese border. Roads had been thronged 
with families all the way from Huichon; but in the Manpo 
area I couldn't see that the population was terribly swollen. 

After three more days in the six-by-six pigsty we moved to 
a house in Manpo proper, about three miles away. The offi- 
cials' families got a heated room, but the guards and I shared 
a Japanese room, without even a habachi. Our breakfast that 
morning was the last of the food we had brought north in the 
truck, so Sergeant U went into town almost immediately. He 
spent most of the day trying to buy some rice. Finally he 
came back with a twenty-five-pound sack of it, and some 
garlic and pork fat. We had dinner about ten o'clock that 

176 General Dean's Story 

In each town and each new house we acquired some differ- 
ent woman to do the cooking that is, to boil rice and make 
a vegetable soup without meat stock. Once in a while we had 
a few ounces of meat or chicken; but no matter what the 
food is, the North Koreans always prepare it the same way 
cut into small chunks, boiled until all the flavor Is gone, then 
liberally laced with red pepper. 

I appreciate that these different houses, being all much 
alike, can mean little to a reader; but each is identified in my 
mind with some peculiarity or event. The first Manpo house 
had a window from which I was permitted to look because 
it was so situated that no one outside could see me. I noticed 
from the window that a Russian civilian family was living 
across the street a woman, a ten- or twelve-year-old girl, and 
a man who must have been somewhat important, because he 
had a Korean company-grade officer as driver of his jeep. On 
entering Manpo I had also seen three Russian officers strutting 
on a street; and in another apartment (or, rather, large room) 
of the house we occupied, I had a glimpse one night of a 
whole group of Caucasians. These certainly were not Amer- 
icans, so I assumed that they too must be Russians. 

In three days the officials' families moved out, and we were 
able to grab the room with the onder. This ages-old proto- 
type of modern heating systems always surprises Westerners 
when they first realize how long the Koreans have used the 
principle we consider new. But surprise wears off, and the 
vagaries of the onder begin to wear on your nerves. Very few 
really draw properly, so often more smoke drifts in from the 
kitchen of a Korean house than goes under the floor to create 
heat. Most onders have two or three flue systems; and almost 
always one system works far better than the others. 

Stoked with grass and brambles, most onders are fired only 

A Gun That Wouldn't Fke 1 7 7 

during the cooking of meals. For an hour or so, just at dinner 
time and when you are going to bed, there is stifling heat, 
which becomes almost intolerable in a tightly closed, crowded 
room. As the night wears on, the floor cools off, while the air 
outside becomes frigid, until in the morning and through the 
day there is very little difference between the zero tempera- 
tures inside and outside. 

At this house in Manpo the heating system was just about 
average, and so was the crowding. Two lieutenants joined 
the guards and myself in one room, and a captain moved into 
the cold spot we had vacated. In our eight-foot-square room 
four people slept while one squatted on guard duty, at which 
the lieutenants cheerfully took their turns, under command 
of Sergeant U. 

Here an exceptional event took place I got a bath. There 
were great preparations for the occasion. AH day long the 
two guards carried water in buckets to a large Japanese-type 
wooden tub in a little bathroom, and a big fire was built in 
a sort of stove under it. I assumed that the bath was for me 
and, with no interpreter present, tried to make them under- 
stand that it should not be too hot I wasn't a Japanese and 
therefore didn't want to be parboiled. 

My assumption was a little premature on a couple of details. 
When I finally got to go into the tiny bathroom, a lieutenant 
went with me (perhaps they thought I'd escape with the 
steam), and I learned to my sorrow that this was not to be 
the hoped-for immersion bath, or Japanese-style self -cooking 
session. The Koreans do it differently. We soaped down, 
using some of the very hot water scooped from the tub, and 
then got some of it cool enough to wash the soap off. But 
when I made motions to get into the tub, I found out that 
wasn't kosher. You just soap and rinse, and that's all 

1 7 8 General Dean's Story 

Also, the lieutenant borrowed my bar of soap and used 
most of it. It was a highly disappointing evening. 

I never did find out what real business these officers had in 
Manpo, but I judged that all of them had recently been in 
Seoul Each had loot of some sort U. S. .453, cigarettes, six 
bottles of penicillin, which they gleefully displayed to one 
another. Seoul was repeated again and again in their conver- 

A couple of days later a woman lieutenant joined our little 
party and moved into the room with the captain. This should 
not be interpreted as anything more than a necessary arrange- 
ment. The North Korean Army seemed about as devoid of sex 
as any group of young men ever could be. I have no explana- 
tion for their apparent lack of interest. None was in posses- 
sion of the calendar art which goes along with most armies 
(even the Japanese) , and there was apparently no talk about 

The lady lieutenant brought with her a collection of Amer- 
ican silk dresses, cosmetics, and a bottle of fine French per- 
fume, of which she was especially proud. She should never 
have displayed her loot there. While she was present all the 
guards were quite friendly, but the moment she left the house 
one of the enlisted men went through her luggage like a ter- 
rier until he found the bottle of perfume, which he proceeded 
to use on his hair as you might use hair tonic. He kept on 
pouring until his hair was wet and the bottle half empty. The 
place smelled like seven beauty parlors compressed into one. 

The woman lieutenant looked familiar to me, and I kept 
trying to figure out where I could have seen her. No one 
spoke any English except one tall lieutenant, who had Injured 
a leg jumping out of a track during an air raid; he also was 

A Gun That Wouldn't Fire 1 7 9 

suffering from a bad case of hypertension, which made him 
jerk continually. He surprised me one day by using his entire 
English repertoire. He looked at me, grinned, and said, "Fine, 

On October 17 my dysentery suddenly left me. I was vir- 
tually normal for one whole day. Then my kidneys went 
haywire, and thereafter that little detail of necessity occupied 
much of my thinking and a great deal of time a trip every 
fifty minutes, zero weather or not. 

About October 20 the interpreter, Tal, appeared. He had 
waited two days at Huichon for transportation, then had 
walked all the way north. He gave the woman lieutenant a 
chance to ask something that apparently had been bothering 
her too. She said, "Do you remember ever seeing me before?" 

The question made everything fall into place in my mind. 
I remembered that day at Chinan, the captain who had bought 
me a sack of cookies, and the political instructor who had 
tried to hold classes for soldiers while our airplanes were over- 
head. This was the same girl. She was delighted when I 
remembered her. 

At this period our food consisted of rice, soup with occa- 
sional bits of meat or chicken in it, and Chinese cabbage tops 
cut into a sort of green salad. There was no kimchee, which 
annoyed the Koreans more than it annoyed me. The cook was 
good, and thoughtful of my needs. When she discovered that 
I couldn't eat salad with as much red-pepper seasoning as the 
others liked, she would give me a special portion before put- 
ting on the pepper. I was getting used to the food and found 
myself eating more than half a large bowl of rice at each meal; 
in prewar days I couldn't have eaten a quarter of that amount. 
But we lived well only for a short time. Guards spent hours 

180 General Dean's Story 

each day trying to buy enough food, and they no longer could 

supply enough for three meals. So we went down to two a day. 

We moved once more, to a larger house in Manpo; and De 
Soon Yur, the guard left behind in Huichon, rejoined us, after 
having walked fourteen days, carrying his own and another 
guard's luggage. Tal technically stayed with us, but was sent 
away on frequent and mysterious missions for a day or so at 
a time. He may have been translating for other prisoner inter- 
rogations at some of the POW camps in the area. Once he 
returned to ask me for information about the X Corps of the 
U. S. Army and Major General Edward (Ned) Almond. I 
didn't know that the X Corps had been reactivated and was 
delighted to have that information. 

This news made me feel better, and so did the general atti- 
tude of the people around me. It was apparent that most of 
them thought the jig was up. From the presence of the officers 
who had been in Seoul I judged that our forces must have 
cleared that city on the way north, and from the way they 
acted, I thought we must be moving fast. 

An even more definite indication of the way things were 
going was provided by one of several English-speaking Kore- 
ans who came to the house, stayed briefly, and departed. He 
waited until a moment when he could not be overheard, then 
whispered to me, "Could you walk seventy-eight miles?" 

I knew precisely what he had in mind, and that he was 
thinking of his own fate as much as mine. I didn't care in the 
least, if he really meant it. I said, "Seventy-eight miles? I can 
do that on my head. 1 can crawl that far." This might have 
been just boasting, because I still was very weak. 

He was the one who finally shook his head. "It's very cold," 
he said. "Much snow." While I protested, trying to help him 

A Gun That Wouldn't Fire 1 8 1 

screw up his courage, he talked himself right out of the idea, 
and the opportunity to escape never came so close again. 

That walk would have taken me to United Nations lines, but 
within days the Chinese struck in force and the great Eighth 
Army retreat to the south began. 


A. Trip io Manchuria 

On what turned out to be the night before we left Manpo, I 
was taken for a quarter-mile walk across a soccer field, to a 
house without close neighbors. A brand-new cook was already 
preparing dinner when we arrived. Also awaiting us were the 
lieutenant left behind at Huichon and an English-speaking 
civilian. The captain who had been sharing a room with the 
lady lieutenant moved with us but left the lady behind. The 
big lieutenant with the tic also came along. We were a happy 
group, living in an eight-foot-square room. The girl cook, 
who turned out to be a sergeant, moved right in with the rest 
of us. It was still possible to lie down, but we either rolled 
over in concert or not at all. The lieutenant with the jerks, 
however, found this a trifle confining. He opened the door of 
a closet and slept in there. 

The civilian, before we went to bed, told me that he had 
hiked all the way from Pyongyang. "It was tough," he said, 
"but I didn't mind. I'm glad to do anything for my country." 
From his tone I had the definite impression that he didn't 
think it would be possible to do things for his country much 
longer. The show was just about over. (On October 26 
American Marines landed at Wonsan on the east coast of 

The next morning I got additional evidence of the same 


A Trip to Manchuria 1 8 3 

sort. Here came the "pahli, pahli, pahli" call once more; and 
the captain, noting that I was still wearing summer clothes, 
offered me a pair of long woolen underdrawers. I figured he 
must know something and accepted them promptly. In a 
tearing rush my guards and I set out for a government build- 
ing a few blocks away, then waited there. "Hurry up and 
wait" as a cardinal principle is not restricted to the American 
Army. These people were used to it too. 

Trucks were parked in a courtyard, and drivers stood 
around a big bonfire in the biting cold, but I was not invited to 
join this warming circle. We acquired a new captain as tour- 
party director, and our luggage was put into a truck. Three 
of us sat in the front seat and a guard hung on the running 
board, just in case I might feel like jumping out. 

There must be a million Kims in Korea, but the Captain 
Kim who now had me in charge was a churlish, English- 
speaking lad, whose standard answer to any question was, u lt's 
immaterial." I asked him where he had learned English, and 
he admitted that he had gone to school in Kokura, Japan, my 
old headquarters; thereafter I got no information. He had no 
insignia, so I asked his rank. He said that was immaterial. So 
was his name, and he did not care, he said, if I merely chose 
to call him "Hey, you." He was a very pleasant fellow. 

We drove to the Yalu River, and the captain showed a pass 
to guards at each end of a pontoon bridge. Thousands of peo- 
ple were lined up on the Korean side, waiting to cross, but 
our pass got us through the mob and we rolled across the 

On the west side of the river I noticed immediate differ- 
ences. Here were vendors with whole cartloads of meat, more 
than I'd seen in months, and other vendors hawked a sort of 
corn fluff, just as a delicacy. Mule-drawn vehicles were 

1 84 General Dean's Story 

common. Uniforms were difficult to distinguish accurately 
under the many coats, but they were different from those 
worn in Manpo. 

I asked Captain Kim if this was the first time he had been 
in Manchuria and got a straight lie for an answer. "This isn't 
Manchuria/' he said. "This is just a Chinese section of Korea, 
like your Chinese section of San Francisco." 

I said, "Then what was that river we crossed?" The captain 
didn't bother to answer. I was well aware that my transporta- 
tion into a neutral country violated the Geneva Convention, 
but I was in no mood to protest about it even if there had 
been any chance to protest. "This," I thought, "is good. On 
this side of the river my chances for getting away are at least 
triple what they were in Korea." 

We drove a few miles to a town, which must have been 
Chian, and stopped in a sort of hotel. We passed through a 
kitchen where a mule was walking around and around, turn- 
ing a press that squeezed out those lovely corn fluffs. Our 
accommodations consisted of a shelf, about six by six, where 
four of us slept while one guard remained on duty. I think 
the hotel had formerly been a stable, and we were in one of 
the stalls. 

That night we had an excellent Chinese dinner served from 
the kitchen, complete with pork cut up and cooked with lots 
of gravy, rice, and soup that had some meat stock in it. This 
was a real delight to me; and although this was my first offense 
with chopsticks I managed to get all the gravy served to me. 

But there's no figuring Koreans. They didn't like this won- 
derful food, and the next day set up an elaborate arrange- 
ment for getting Korean food the usual watery soup, rice, 
and no meatfrom some other place. I had to sit there and 

A Trip to Manchuria 185 

smell those wonderful Chinese dishes being cooked In the next 
room without being able to get any of them. 

However, I had to pass through the kitchen several times 
during the night. Each time I slipped over to the press, 
grabbed a handful of corn fluff, and stuffed it into my mouth. 
I felt like a small boy sticking a finger into the icing of his 
mother's cake. The mule, fortunately, worked only during 
daylight hours, so I didn't have to argue with him. 

With four of us sleeping and one on guard on that stall- 
sized shelf, there wasn't much room. And the captain turned 
out to be a pinwheel sleeper. All night long that bird pivoted 
on his head, kicking first one of us, then the others In rotation 
as he spun around, without ever waking up. The only person 
not miserable was the squatting duty guard, who was thor- 
oughly entertained. 

It was now October 28, and the weather was bitter cold. 
But Chinese flies have that little matter whipped: they all 
move Indoors. The hotel was a black mass of them. They 
crawled over our faces as we slept. When one of the guards 
was sleeping and I was awake, I quite often saw flies wander 
in and out of his open mouth at will. Frequently they fought 
us for our food, so it wasn't unusual to have a spoonful of rice 
flavored with fly. If I had had a swatter I could have killed a 
thousand with one blow. 

The next day the captain recognized that I needed some- 
thing to do. He lent me, temporarily, a book called The His- 
tory of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union. But pres- 
ently he thought he should be studying it himself, so he took 
it and left me with his one other volume, a conversational dic- 
tionary in Japanese and English, which had been written by 
someone in Kyoto, Japan, and was concerned with teaching 

1 86 General Dean's Story 

Japanese how to order meat or groceries In English. I read It 

We stayed in Chian until the night of October 30, with me 
sitting the whole time on the shelfand absolutely nothing 
happened except that Captain Kim bought a big sack of pea- 
nuts. I can remember how wonderful those tasted. 

The Korean reasoning in taking me to Manchuria can only 
be surmised, but to me the most logical explanation is that they 
Intended to use my rank as a bargaining point in whatever 
peace negotiations might occur. They could not afford to kill 
or lose me, and even were forced, in the heat of the military 
rout, to take the chance that the Chinese might demand my 
custody once we were across the border. I was kept In Chian 
the shortest possible time. The moment their military situa- 
tion improved I was hauled back east across the river. 

That trip, made in a jeep in the midst of a snow and sleet 
storm, was bitterly cold. I was crowded into the middle of the 
back seat, and one of the guard's suitcases, with very rough 
corners, kept bouncing against my shins. This was more pain- 
ful than it sounds, and I finally said, "Stop the jeep." 

Captain Kim, riding in front, said, "What's the matter?" 

I said, "This suitcase is cutting my shins something terrible. 
Fd like to stop and pull my feet up above It, or something." 

He said, "That's immaterial." 

Well, you can take that sort of thing only so long. I said, 
'The hell it's immaterial! Stop this jeep right now." I pulled 
back my fist as if I were going to hit him. 

When I think about it now I can see that almost every time 
I tried a real bluff it worked shoving the sentry when I was 
a fugitive in the hills, trying to kill Colonel Kim, now this 
business of threatening to hit the captain, who could have 
mowed me down with one hand in my condition. Perhaps if 

A Trip to Manchuria 187 

I had been smarter I'd have tried more bluffs and either ac- 
quired more concessions or disproved the theory. 

But at least I did get the jeep stopped and that snitcase off 
my shins. We proceeded to the bridge, at the end of which 
benches and temporary kitchens were set up. I couldn't decide 
then whether these were for Chinese troops coming in, or 
refugees, or prisoners of war. I was constantly on the lookout 
for some sign of prisoner-of-war camps, but never saw any. 

As we drove into Manpo the snow and sleet continued. 
And at a corner I glanced up a side street. Men were marching 
there in the snow, their heads bent, their gait that of the very 
weary. I saw them only for a moment, and then we had gone 
past. Though I looked back frantically I never got another 
glimpse of those other American prisoners, plodding through 
the night. I can't even swear that they were Americans, but I 
don't think I could have been wrong, even in that single 

I was taken to a house in a cluster of three or four, well out 
of the center of Manpo; and when we moved into a room next 
to the kitchen the family that owned it had to crowd up in the 
one other room, away from the heat. During this period I was 
always interested for obvious reasons in the latrine facilities 
of any new quarters. Here they were unusual. The approach 
was over a raised catwalk, hazardous with ice, and the facili- 
ties themselves were directly above the pigpen, a sort of 
raised perch visible from all directions and open to the winter 
winds out of Manchuria. Fortunately for sensibilities, no pork 
was served to us during the three days we remained at this 

On the night of November 2 we moved again walking 
across a soccer field. I was a little confused about the locale 
and wondered how many soccer fields there were in North 

1 88 General Dean's Story 

Korea. When we arrived I found that it was the same place 
in which we had been the night before we went to Man- 
churia. The girl sergeant-cook, E Sun Koom, and the very 
pleasant captain who had given me the woolen underdrawers, 
were still there. He was just sitting down to eat an evening 
snack of some raw meat, greeted me like an old friend, and 
invited me to share it. Although I'd never eaten raw meat 
before, this tasted fine, especially the bits of liver. 

We stayed put for ten days. From this house I could see out 
one window, and watched while a Russian civilian and two 
Korean general officers, with a large coterie, discussed loca- 
tions of anti-aircraft positions on the hills behind us, then de- 
veloped a cleverly camouflaged petroleum and oil dump in a 
fold of the same high ground, piling brush over the stored 
drums until they were unnoticeable even from where I sat, 
close to them. 

I also grabbed an opportunity during this time to tell Cap- 
tain Kirn, who stayed with us at night, that I wanted to walk 
outdoors, for exercise. 

He said, u You can't walk in the daytime, because some- 
body might see you. We don't want you to be seen. We'll 
arrange for you to walk at night." 

But I never got that walk. A night or so later there was a 
violent argument outside, which sounded to me as if Chinese 
were involved in a dispute about quartersand I think I was 
right, because we moved, on the night of November 12, to a 
large apartment house, in which we had one room with an 
onder and another that had been a tatami room until the mat- 
ting had been torn off. Now the floors were bare, unheated. 
The room with the onder had paper windows, which let in 
some light; but almost immediately the guards pasted news- 
papers over them, to conserve heat, and made the room quite 

A Trip to Manchuria 189 

dark. The onder, as usual, didn't work too well and was fired 
only at mealtimes, so the room was cold most of the time. 

Here we remained until January 12, 1951. It was bitter 
cold, Christmas was just another day, and the food steadily 
deteriorated. I sat on the floor, crawled on the floor, and slept 
on the floor. Much of the time no interpreter was present. 
Planes bombed the area, but with less and less frequency. I 
guessed at the course of the war by the numbers of Chinese 
troops I could see occasionally. (As I learned later, the Chi- 
nese entry into the war in October had by this time changed 
the whole character of the fighting. United States Marines 
and soldiers had to fight their way south from the Yalu River 
on the east coast, finally evacuating their battered units from 
Hamhung on December 24, 1950. Meanwhile, in the west, the 
Eighth Army was driven back rapidly, losing Seoul on Janu- 
ary 4, 1951.) 

Once Lieutenant Colonel Choi, of the Sunan interrogation 
team, came to see me, with more questions to be asked through 
the same interpreter, Tal. He was fairly pleasant. He wanted 
to know where the ist and 3rd Divisions of the U. S. Army 
had been stationed. I told him that I had no idea our divisions 
moved frequently and I had been out of touch with these two 
since 1947, and I asked him why he wanted to know. He said 
a radio broadcast had identified them as divisions being sent to 
Japan as occupation troops, replacing units fighting in Korea. 
Actually the 3rd Division already was fighting in the X Corps, 
in eastern Korea, while the ist remained in Europe, where it 
had been for a long time. 

I also asked Choi for information about the course of the 
war, but he wasn't helpful. "You won't give us any informa- 
tion about these divisions," he said, "so why should I tell you 

190 General Dean's Story 

He seized the opportunity, however, to ask if I had now 
seen the light and might be willing to cooperatebut almost 
in the same breath asked a giveaway question: Was it true 
that we were landing two Japanese divisions in Korea? 

I told him that I had no information on this, but that of 
course there were enough trained Japanese soldiers easily to 
fill two divisions, so it was possible. I was struck by the expres- 
sion of outright terror which crossed Choi's face. Hatred of 
the Japanese is beyond belief in both halves of Korea, but so 
is fear of the small soldiers from the islands. 

Otherwise Choi was on the evasive side. I complained that 
I wanted to take calisthenics daily, and he said, "How much 
exercise do you want?" 

I told him thirty minutes a day. 

He said, "That's too much. You can take ten minutes/' 

When I complained about not being allowed to stand or to 
walk around the room he said he would have to "take that up 
with a higher authority." I asked if there was not some ar- 
rangement for dispatching letters to prisoners' families through 
a neutral country there must have been some sort of a form 
letter so that I could at least tell my family U I am well" or 
something to that effect. 

Choi said he knew of no such mail arrangement, but that if 
I wished to write a letter to my family he would see that it 
was mailed. I wrote, with a borrowed pencil and paper (I was 
not allowed to have any of my own) , a completely innocuous 
letter, saying that I was well. Choi put it in his pocket, where 
it may be yet, for all I know. It never was delivered. 

He also had one more request before he left he wanted my 
woolen underdrawers. They were his, he said, lent to the cap- 
tain who had lent them to me. So I returned them, and lived 
in summer-weight underclothing for the rest of the month. 

A Trip to Manchuria 1 9 1 

Except for this visit my days were much alike. I lived with, 
but did not particularly help, the every-fifty-minutes kidney 
trouble. I sat with my back against a mud-plaster wall and 
refought many times the twenty-day campaign before my 
separation from my division. I worried about my family and 
their finances. Frankly, I had never considered the possibility 
of becoming a prisoner of war. I hate to admit it, but I knew 
very little about what could be expected from the holding 
power, or even about my status with our own Army while a 
prisoner. I'd always thought that anyone reported missing in 
action was presumed dead after forty-five days and his pay 
stopped. So I worried about this, needlessly, much of the time 
I was a prisoner. 

And over and over again I planned a dinner. This would be 
served on my first night of freedom. It would include prime 
ribs, an artichoke, a small baked potato with cheese on it and 
a good-sized hunk of butter, quick-frozen peas, a big helping 
of head lettuce with french dressing, ice cream, and a huge 
cup of black -coffee. Those were the most lasting items, al- 
though I used up days In considering and rejecting other 

But I didn't mind the time. Thinking about food helped to 
keep me warm. So did the massaging of my bare toes, hour 
after hour. We always were without shoes inside the house, as 
in any other Korean house, and I discovered that my feet 
seemed to keep warmer without socks. The temperature 
hovered around zero, inside as well as out. 

I was permitted to wash once a day and worked out a sys- 
tem so that I could get a partial sponge bath out of a single 
basin of warm water by using a handkerchief as a washcloth. 
But it was complicated by the fact that the washcloth, when 

192 General Dean's Story 

I laid it down beside the pan of water, always froze before I 
could pick it up again. I had no idea water could freeze so fast. 

Most of the time I watched the Koreans, which wasn't hard, 
because ten of us sometimes were living in the one eight-by- 
eight room. Captain Kim departed early in November, and 
after that the senior sergeant, U Eun Chur, was in charge and 
kept them all busy. One man always watched me, at least one 
off-duty man always was away trying to buy food, and all of 
them spent a great deal of time studying Communist doctrine, 
copying page after page in notebooks that were checked by 
superiors now and then. The History of the Communist Party 
in the Soviet Union was their principal text, and I always 
wondered how many of them understood the chapters on dia- 
lectic materialism. They appeared to be memorizing it, as 
children might study a primer. U held almost nightly review 
sessions, and each man was called on to recite. Occasionally he 
or some other guard would go away, apparently to attend 
more formal classes, then come back to give a complete report 
on what he had been told. These things were obvious, al- 
though we did not speak each other's language. 

Some attempts were made to teach me guards trading me 
Korean for English terminology. A typical lesson consisted of 
a guard filling a rice bowl with bits of paper, saying, "Ipsu- 
mida" then demanding, "American?" I would say, "Full." 
Thus I learned Korean terms for full, empty, and other com- 
mon situations with some startling results. Ipsumida, I learned 
subsequently, also means "I had," or "there is"; while opso- 
mida means "I do not have," "There is less," or "gone." De 
Soon Yur would ask me, "Sohja empty ? "meaning, "Has 
the major gone?" "U full?" meant, "Is (Sergeant) U here?" 

Generally these people treated me kindly within the frame- 

A Trip to Manchuria 193 

work of the restrictive rules. I could not stand or lie down In 
the daytime and got my ten minutes' calisthenics in the morn- 
ing only under the frowning disapproval of U; but most of 
the time I was treated more or less like a member of a big 
family. I ate what they ate, including the occasional treats 
someone brought in. I was equipped no more poorly than the 

These people had no thread, no nails, very little cloth of any 
kind, few needles, and no leather. They unraveled old knit 
clothing to make new things, laboriously twisting the thin 
yarn strands together by hand in order to make thicker skeins. 
They resoled their own shoes and mine (somewhat later) with 
slices of rubber and fabric cut from old truck tires. 

Socks in Korea are not darned but patched. The guards all 
patched their own until patches were on top of patches, and 
I learned to do the same with mine. But I never tried what I 
saw one guard patching another's socks while they still were 
on the feet. The one being patched wasn't worried, but the 
whole process looked hazardous to me. 

Once while I was watching U he must have misread my 
interest as disgust or scorn, because he suddenly held up that 
sock as if he were going to throw it away and yelled, "Ameri- 
can! American!" I was sure he resented the fact that he had to 
patch that sock, whereas an American soldier would merely 
toss it away. But he had misunderstood my expression. I was 
just wondering how in the world you could ever get any 
American, soldier or civilian, to be half that frugal. 

De Soon Yur, the most kindly of the trio of regular guards, 
was exceptionally odd in appearance. Above the waist he was 
built like a middleweight, but his legs were those of a twelve- 
year-old child. He was the shortest one in the group and 

194 General Dean's Story 

looked as if he had been mismatched at the belt. He also had 
the shortest fingers I've seen on a grown man, but he could do 
incredible things with them. He could thread a needle in the 
dark; and when anything unusual, from fixing a partition to 
carrying a heavy bag of rice, had to be done, he was the one 
who accomplished it. U Eun Chur was the old Army man, 
and an authority on Communist doctrine. Pack, the youngest 
and the brightest of the trio, was notable because the girl- 
cook so transparently thought he was wonderful. She shared 
her cover with him when we slept and gave him money when 
she finally left. But in spite of her perfectly obvious interest 
Pack never did anything about it except to carry her luggage 
to the railroad station on the final day of her stay. 

None of these men ever had any time off, and none received 
more than an occasional letter, although both U and De had 
families. The only variety in their diet or mine was a very 
rare helping of soy beans, roasted, or, in the evening, a bowl 
of pop-kay, which is the browned rice that clings to the sides 
of the cooking pot and tastes vaguely like toast. 

Of this last I never got a full share, although they shared 
almost everything else with me. But pop-kay was special, and 
it never was a case of reaching into the bowl and helping my- 
self, as the others did. Rather, the guards would gather around 
the bowl when E Sun Koom brought it in; and Pack or De 
would break off a piece of the crusted rice and hand it to me, 
while I sat in a corner. For some obscure reason U resented this 
and often would grab the bowl and make a point of giving me 
none, or would growl a protest when one of the others handed 
me a piece. This didn't affect them; but once I got up on my 
pride when he made an especially noisy protest and for five 
days refused what was offered. Then I realized I wasn't hurt- 
ing U in the least, and pride gave way to hunger. Thereafter I 

A Trip to Manchuria 195 

took what they handed me, like a little child not permitted to 
approach the dinner table. 

E Sun Koom always was kind to me, making sure that I 
got my full share of everything, including her indifferent 
cooking; she washed my clothes without complaint and sewed 
cotton batting between my two blankets when the cold be- 
came so unbearable that I couldn't sleep. Only one thing 
about her annoyed me. Each day, after cooking and eating 
breakfast, she would wash outdoors, then return to our room 
with her hair damp, sit cross-legged on the floor facing the 
dim light, and take out a rather elaborate toilet kit, which in- 
cluded a bottle of pink hair cream, a popular American brand, 
to pour on her hair. Then she'd comb, and glycerine would fly 
off the comb into my face as I sat behind her. I wasn't allowed 
to move, so all I could do was duck or put up my hands as 
shields. The guard on duty always had a real nice laugh. 

When E Sun Koom was to leave us I wanted to give her 
some present to show my appreciation for her kindness. But- 
tons were the only thing I could think of, or had. Everyone 
was short of buttons for his clothing and continually stole them 
from each other. So I pulled the six ornamental buttons off 
the sleeves of my suit coat and gave them to her. She seemed 
pleased and grateful, but several days later I saw Pack sewing 
those selfsame buttons on his own clothes. 

The girl sergeant was replaced by a civilian woman, Pyun, 
as cook, and the meals promptly improved. I prefer rice 
cooked in the oriental manner rather than as Americans cook 
it, and the way Pyun prepared it was better than any other 
rice I had in Korea. It had a special fluffiness all its own. She 
could even make that Chinese cabbage or Japanese radish 
(daikori) soup taste good. 

Pyun was in her twenties, had a really beautiful face and 

196 General Dean's Story 

more figure than most Korean women. But her hands were 
those of a day laborer, scarred and blunt. She had smashed the 
fingers of her left hand somehow, losing the fingernails and 
acquiring a bad infection. To my consternation, she squeezed 
blood and pus from these fingers every night, after a hard 
day's work, and had no medication except mercurochrome. 
I learned eventually that she was the wife of a North Korean 
colonel who had been involved in some defalcation before the 
war and had been demoted to private as punishment. But he 
worked very hard, the guards explained, eventually got an- 
other commission, and rose again to major. Their story had a 
tragic ending. In 1951 during the same week the major was 
killed in action and Pyun died in a bombing raid on a highway. 

At Manpo she lived like the rest of us. That is to say, we 
tried to keep warm, were kept awake at night by rats gnaw- 
ing In the ceiling or in the next room( where they had regular 
rat battles), and were kept busy, In any off-hours, hunting 
the hard-shelled lice, or cooties, which Infested our clothing. 
These beasts loved the seams of clothing, and the only effec- 
tive way to kill them was between the fingernails. All of us 
spent hours on the hunt. The colder the weather became, the 
more of them moved in on us. 

For the guards the life was hard and easy, in diff ering details. 
They all liked to sleep until nine or ten o'clock In the morn- 
ing, which made me unhappy because I normally awake early, 
and that hard floor was no place on which to loll and dream 
after awaking. But they worked almost without supplies, re- 
ceiving during this entire period issues only of canvas shoes 
(in midwinter) and some heavy canvas from which they had 
to hand-sew duffel bags. I was allowed to make one of these 
for myself, and carried It for the rest of my captivity. I also 
was issued some winter underwear, a vitally important item, 

A Trip to Manchuria 197 

on the last day of November. You remember things like that. 

There was no regular source of information about the war, 
even for the guards. When U would come back from one of 
the study sessions he attended, the house seminar talk would 
include names of Russian satellite countries and sometimes of 
the United Nations, so I presumed they were being briefed on 
world events. But there was no newspaper and no radio. I had 
heard a radio in the interpreters' room at Sunan (once I heard 
the phrase, "This is the Far East Network," before it was 
turned down hurriedly), but we never had another that 

We also had difficulty in keeping time. U was entitled to an 
issue watch, and he received four different ones. But neither 
he nor the other guards could stand to let it go uninspected. 
As soon as he would bring one home they would get their 
heads together over it, take off the back, then start investigat- 
ing the works, lifting out a wheel or two. Sometimes they 
would manage to get the wheels back, but none of the watches 
survived the treatment for more than five days. I never could 
understand how the men knew when to relieve each other on 
guard duty. 

One thing about the Koreans still arouses my curiosity. 
Everywhere I noticed their fine teeth (perhaps I was more 
interested than most because of my father's profession as a 
dentist) , but never received any adequate explanation for their 
excellent condition, which is in such contrast to the mouths 
full of gold-covered cavities common in Japan. These people 
were great tooth-brushers, spending half an hour a day using 
a dry brush with lots of toothpaste on it. I was told once that 
the kimchee in their diet was responsible. Certainly their 
dentists can't take much credit. In the three years I was a 
prisoner several of my guards at one time or another had teeth 

198 General Dean's Story 

extracted. I honestly believe the teeth were knocked out rather 
than pulled; and every patient ended up with a dry socket, 
excruciatingly painful for weeks. This appeared to be stand- 
ard procedure. 

Although I was allowed but two sponge baths at Manpo, 
in addition to those I managed with the little washbasin of 
water, the guards did a lot of bathing. They made a habit of 
doing their daily face- and neck-washing outdoors, stripped 
down to the waist even in the coldest weather. Koreans have 
told me that in the old days Japanese guards attempting to sin- 
gle out Koreans trying to cross on the ferries to Japan without 
permission would ask suspects to wash. If the suspect washed 
the back of his neck he was thrown off as a Korean and an 
impostor, because Japanese never wash there. I do not guar- 
antee the accuracy of this story at all. 

Many of the things I had resented so much at first became 
less important in my mind as I watched the Koreans dealing 
with each other. Actually I think they are generally less un- 
kind than completely inconsiderate of the rights of a prisoner, 
of a pig whose meat they believe will be better if he is killed 
very slowly, squealing for hours, or of each other. To them, 
I was just an animal to be fed and kept alive. It didn't occur 
to them that I had feelings. 

For example, when one of them is looking at anything a 
photograph, a book, a trophy and another becomes inter- 
ested, the second man, with never a by-your-leave, just grabs 
the object in question and looks at it himself. Perhaps while 
he's looking a third may arrive, and the process is repeated, 
still without any sign of an excuse or any Interval for one 
person to finish with his inspection. 

Or if a roomful of men are sleeping and the guard on duty 
feels like singing, he may burst into loud voice and nobody 

A Trip to Manchuria 199 

complains. At Sunan I had resented more than almost any- 
thing else the guards' habit of kicking me with their bare feet 
to keep me awake. But that is their way of dealing with each 
other the kick is a good method of getting attention, nothing 

I also noticed that if one man was busy reading or sewing, 
and another spoke to him, no answer was forthcoming. The 
first might say, "Pack!" half a dozen times before Pack would 
deign to reply, "What?" (or a Korean word that sounds the 
same). When men go on duty or report to a sergeant they 
always salute, but the noncom or officer saluted replies, if at 
all, only with an expression of extreme disgust on his face and 
a grunted word. Many times I thought, "Boy, if that happened 
to me when I saluted somebody he'd be a long time getting 
another salute." But in that army this was standard. 

These were the people around me at Manpo, and this their 
life, and mine, except for one detail. 

That was the lone diversion, a game called chong-gun (gen- 
eral officer) and similar to chess. It differs mainly in that the 
pieces are moved on the intersections of lines rather than on 
the squares, and several pieces have slightly different capabili- 
ties. The equivalent of the king and certain added guards may 
not leave a restricted number of squares. Knights move two 
intersections in one direction and the third on a diagonal. 
Pawns are not exchanged when they reach the far side of the 
board but move thereafter at a right angle. 

O if -duty guards began playing this game soon after we 
reached Manpo, having made their own pieces and a rough 
board. For several weeks I watched until I thought I under- 
stood the game. Finally I challenged U, who seemed to be the 
poorest player. I was beaten at first, but I began to get inter- 
ested and played regularly with the vociferous help of many 

2OO General Dean's Story 

kibitzers. In chong-gun, kibitzing is highly vocal, includes 
suggesting moves or objecting to them, also the moving of 
pieces by a kibitzer, who repeatedly reaches over a player's 
shoulder without permission. Players themselves also are free 
and easyif one makes a play, then sees that his opponent is 
about to exploit an opportunity he has created, he hurriedly 
yanks the piece back. 

I gave a fair account of myself as a chong-gun player until 
the night Colonel Choi and Tal visited me early in November. 
The next day a guard shook his head when I got out the 
chong-gun board and challenged him. The other two also 
refused to play me, so I finally set up the board, intending to 
work out moves myself. U, in a growling mood, took it away 
from me. Although I still knew only a few isolated words of 
Korean, I understood perfectly that there was to be no more 
chong-gun for me. Colonel Choi had prohibited it. 

Sometimes I could watch while the guards played, but often 
one of them sat apparently deliberatelywith his back to me 
so that I couldn't even do that. 

There were frequent air raids during this period, and each 
time we had to take cover in a crowded air-raid shelter, which 
I reached by jumping through the one window that would 
open. The shelter was used by a number of people, including 
a really beautiful Korean woman lieutenant, who apparently 
worked in some headquarters nearby, and whose good looks 
I had very little chance to appreciate. Two Chinese sentries, 
another woman and two children, and all of our household 
crowded into that little shelter and my guards, for some rea- 
son, always brought along their duffel bags and suitcases. They 
seemed to be more interested in getting their possessions pro- 
tected than in getting protection for themselves. All of us 
crouched, by order, so we really were packed in. 

A Trip to Manchuria 201 

As 1950 ended, however, the raids were lessening, while the 
number of night trains pulling out toward the south increased. 
None of this made me feel any better, and I was losing hope. 
I had counted on an autumn push of the United Nations 
Forces to come all the way to the border. Anti-aircraft fire 
also was increasing in our area, including some obviously from 
heavy guns. Evidences of military disaster for the enemy, 
which I had seen only weeks before, had vanished almost 

On January 12 I heard the familiar "pahli, pahli, pahli." 
Once more I put on all the clothes I had, rolled my blankets, 
and prepared to move with no idea as to whether it would be 
across the street, to the next block, or a hundred miles. 

It was a hundred miles south, and more. We first went back 
to Choesin-dong. On the way U covered my head with a 
blanket every few minutes, just as we approached some spot 
where bombing had done important damage. He acted as if 
he were trying to keep me warm, which annoyed me thor- 

I finally said, "Doggone it, if you're trying to keep me from 
seeing, tell me so and 111 get my head down. But if you're try- 
ing to keep me warm, let me do it myself." Of course he 
understood not a syllable of all this. 

At Choesin-dong we stopped only for supper and to get 
cotton-padded clothing for each guard and for me trousers, 
coat, and a cap with ear muffs. This was distributed by sizes, 
and I was mildly amused when the best cap in the allotment, 
really a fine number with special buttons on top, turned out 
to be the one that fit me but none of the others. While we 
were fitting out, the guards chattered to themselves and to me 
said repeatedly, "Seoul, okay? Seoul, chosumneida?" They 
really thought we were going to Seoul, and so did I. 

202 General Dean's Story 

We were directed to an open, topless Chinese-made truck, 
already loaded with two big drums of gasoline and twenty- 
five officers with their luggage. Nine of these were women. 
The truck was so crowded that both Pyun and De Soon Yur 
had to be left behind. 

The only thing uniform about trucks in the North Korean 
Army is that none of the starters ever works, and this one was 
no exception. But somebody finally wound it into life and we 
started southwith a driver who really was unusual in that 
he drove in a reasonable manner. U insisted that I sit cross- 
legged in the middle of all that crowd, while he stood up, 
which I wanted to do, alongside the gasoline drums. Someone 
pressed weight on each of my knees, some woman officer's 
knees hit me in the middle of the back, and other knees shoved 
against my sore shoulder. Every time I moved, this woman 
behind me screeched as if I were torturing her. She made 
quite a lot of noise about how I was abusing her. Fortunately 
for me and my kidneys, that first leg of the trip lasted only 
two hours and was broken once by a trouble stop. We spent 
the night in a Korean house, where a farm family moved over 
to let seven more people sleep. 

But sleep didn't come to me. The temperature outside was 
six below zero. The house was terribly cracked, and the 
biting wind swept through. I noted with astonishment that 
the farm family had only light clothing and one big cover of 
some sort, under which they all slept. A little boy, three or 
four years old, was naked when he stepped over us to go out 
once during that sub-zero night; except for the runny nose 
common to virtually all small children in Korea, he showed 
no ill effects when he came back in and snuggled under the 
common family coverlet. 

A Trip to Manchuria 203 

One of the officers who had been on the truck with us 
spoke some English. He said to me, "See, these poor people 
cold. Your airplanes make them cold." I gathered that he had 
been a resident of Seoul when I was military governor, and 
remembered me. 

The next morning, when there was an air raid on a nearby- 
town I think it was Kanggye we could actually see the 
house cracks widen as the bomb blasts shook it. The officer 
spoke bitterly to me. "See," he said, "y our airplanes kill inno- 
cent farmers and make children suffer." 

Again, as when coming north, we traveled only at night, 
and the second night was much worse for me than the first. 
My position on the truck was even more jammed, I could not 
get the truck to stop when I asked, and I was thoroughly 
embarrassed. When we did stop again, at dawn and near 
Huichon, my feet (I was still wearing for trips the two-sizes- 
too-small shoes given me at Chonju) were freezing. When I 
tried to walk a few dozen yards to a house I fell repeatedly, 
as the composition shoe soles glazed. In spite of my ills and 
falls, I remember well the breakfast we were served there the 
kimchee was still frozen when it came to the rice bowls. 

That night when we were ready to start I had a terrible 
time with the shoes. Outdoors I couldn't get them on at all; 
but a captain objected violently when I wanted to bring them 
inside. After twenty or twenty-five minutes of tugging 1 
finally stuffed my feet into them and we were off on another 
nightmare ride. 

It was a wild and miserable trip, first through the ruins of 
Huichon, then past the site of a recent battle. Even in the 
dark I could see some of our io5~millimeter artillery pieces 
and a few light tanks still standing where they had been 

204 General Dean's Story 

knocked out, or in ditches; also a few artillery prime movers 
and two or three Russian tanks. Villages through which we 
passed were in shambles. 

Riding south, the officers talked among themselves, and I 
gathered that they already had been assigned, some of them to 
posts in Seoul, others to Mokpo, in extreme southwest Korea. 
I figured we must have been pushed far back a second time. I 
thought I myself would surely be taken as far as Seoul, and 
I hoped that we would get there soon. I thought, "I know 
that country. If I get loose I won't have so far to go to get 

We continued southward until we were stopped at a road 
intersection by an officer who gave orders that I was to be 
taken off the truck. U and Pack, the officer, and I started out 
on a side road on foot. The night was very cold and the ground 
icy. I fell again and again. They were disgusted with me and 
bawled me out in Korean. Angrily I shouted back at them that 
if they had let me walk when I had asked for exercise I would 
have been able to stay up now. But I'd lost control of my 
limbs. I really cussed them out and they evidently cussed me 
out, but neither side knew what the other was saying. 

We went on, walking and falling, for more than a mile, and 
at last reached a house that seemed to be in use as some sort of 
an office. And here was Captain Kim, the boss of my Man- 
churia junket, whom I never had learned to love. Nor did I 
now, although he was delighted to tell me some news: United 
Nations troops, he said, had been decisively defeated all along 
the line and the few we had left were surrounded, so it would 
be only a matter of days until all of them were killed. He 
said, "We have many airplanes now, our own airplanes flown 
by Koreans who have been trained; and it is only a matter of 
a few days until there will be no more Americans on the 

A Trip to Manchuria 205 

Korean peninsula. Your own press and radio proclaim that 
this is another Dunkerque. What do you think?" 

I told him I didn't believe the situation was nearly so bad 
as he painted it; that if it even approached his description the 
American people really would get angry, and that he'd better 
be apprehensive about what would happen when we put our 
full forces into the field. 

He asked about my health and left the building. I've never 
seen him since. 


People? Cola y ana 

I expected to resume the trip to Seoul any moment, but my 
guess was wild. I was fed but otherwise ignored until the next 
evening, when Major Kim of the Sunan interrogating team 
took us on another walk, back over the same road we had 
traveled the night before. I fell even more frequently than on 
the previous trip, so finally Pack offered me the heavy open- 
work straw shoes he was wearing, I wasn't happy about 
exchanging with him, but in his footgear I could at least get 
traction, although my feet were freezing. At last we reached 
a small village, which I know is near Sunan but never have 
been able to locate exactly. In a house there, we were taken 
for a single night to a room that contained, curiously enough, 
four beautiful brass-bound chests, but no other furniture. The 
other wing of the house was occupied by a platoon of Chinese 
soldiers. They paid no attention to me, and my guards kept me 
carefully out of sight most of the time. 

We had no food all day, but in the evening Sergeant U 
returned from a junket with some pork fat and dough. This 
is pronounced just as it reads but refers to a steamed rice cake, 
prepared by soaking ground rice for a day, pulverizing and 
rolling it into patties like potato cakes or rolls, then placing it 
in the top of a kettle of boiling water, with straw added to 
keep the rice above the level of the water. It tastes precisely 


People, Cold, and Flies 207 

like flour and water, and for a long time I thought that's what 
it was. The Koreans consider it a first-class delicacy. 

This was the beginning of my worst year a year of two 
houses, two caves, many flies, malaria, a succession of odd 
guards, and terrific boredom all within a three-mile radius. 
This was the year the North Koreans appeared to forget about 
Dean almost entirely, and I had difficulty myself in remember- 
ing who or where I was, and in maintaining any sort of sanity. 

The house I lived in for some months consisted of the 
usual kitchen plus one room about eight by twelve feet. 
Eventually the room was partitioned so that I had a section 
eight feet by four, or slightly narrower, with an open door to 
the larger section but no light except what filtered through a 
paper window or came around the end or over the top of 
the sixty-six-inch-high partition. Most of the time the kitchen 
was unused; food was carried to me and my two guards (who 
for a time were having to stand watch and watch) from a 
house next door. Food wasn't plentiful, and I noticed that the 
mention of kogi in the guards' conversation became more and 
more frequent as the amount of meat we had to eat became 
less and less. 

As soon as we moved in I decided that the house, which 
was on the edge of a village, had been used as a battalion or 
regimental command post by American Forces. Telephone 
wires still ran to it, partially obliterated American names still 
were scratched on the mud walls, and I found a broken shav- 
ing mirror with part of a soldier's serial number still visible 
on the wooden back. These few remnants of a lost campaign 
did nothing whatever to ease my state of mind, which was 
steadily growing lower. The house was small, cold most of 
the time, and gloomy with half-light. After the first four days 
I never got out of it. Very rudimentary plumbing arrange- 

zo8 General Dean's Story 

merits were made for me in the kitchen again so that there 

would be no opportunity for anybody to see me at any time. 

On January 27 De Soon Yur, the short-legged guard, 
arrived, having walked more than a hundred and fifty miles 
from Manpo in below-zero weather, carrying two bags of his 
own and a suitcase U had not been able to get on the truck. 
He showed few ill effects, although Pack, riding with us, had 
frozen his toes. Blood and pus ran out when he squeezed them, 
and eventually he lost the nails, but he escaped infection or 
permanent injury. These small men are tough, no matter what 
else you may think about them. 

De appeared glad to see me, and I felt as if an old friend 
had returned. But no sooner had he settled into the guarding 
routine than we were upset by the first of a series of person- 
nel changes. An officer appeared on January 29 with two new 
guards Kirn Song Su and Pak (as differentiated from Pack). 
Pack told me, using signs for shoulder boards and the word 
pure for stars, that he and De Soon Yur were going to officers' 
school. De left that same night, and Pack a day later. 

The two new guards were the most friendly I had seen, and 
sometimes would let me borrow a pencil when U was not 
present. But they continued to enforce the general orders 
not standing, not lying down, in the daytime. I slept behind 
the partition, with a guard sitting in the doorway where he 
could watch me constantly. At first U insisted that I do this 
sleeping with my head toward the door; but after great argu- 
mentand their own inconvenience in stepping on my head a 
couple of times when they wanted equipment from the bags 
stored in my room I finally was permitted to shift ends, so 
that at least the light by which the guard always was studying 
his Communist theory would not be directly in my eyes. This 
difficulty in effecting any change in routine, no matter how 

People, Cold, and Flies 209 

minor, was typical of my treatment. I don't think it was un- 
kindness. They just liked the status quo, whatever it happened 
to be. 

The partition did some good, however. I had not been get- 
ting the promised calisthenics; but with this to shield me (and 
the guard on duty sometimes dozing or reading) I managed 
to get in a few movements daily. I had to be careful, though, 
to do nothing that required raising my hands above the parti- 
tion, or someone would yell and stop me. Sometimes I could 
get in twenty or twenty-five different exercises while they 
assumed that I still was sleeping on my straw mat. 

Somewhat later I did get permission to walk for ten min- 
utes a dayinside my own. little room. I counted off this space 
carefully, and one day when a guard let the time run over a 
little I managed to get in twenty-five hundred yards of walk- 
ing by taking four steps in one direction, then four in the 
other, on a diagonal. 

When we first came there I was required to sit in the guards' 
room all day. Later this became too crowded, so my required 
seating was in the doorway between the two rooms. When 
they were especially afraid that people coming to the door of 
the house might see me, I had to sit in the dark end of my own 
little closet. I had nothing to read, but could not have read in 
any event. There wasn't enough light. 

I took advantage of the two new guards and their kindness 
about the pencil. The first time I succeeded in borrowing one 
I found a scrap of paper and drew out a calendar, which I hid 
in my summer clothing hanging on the wall, along with the 

But only a couple of days later U staged one of his surprise 
knock-down-and-drag-out searches, to which he was addicted, 
and found them both. They were taken away from me, and 

1 1 o General Dean's Story 

he really bawled me out. I couldn't understand his Korean 

but had no trouble with the tone. The tone said I had done 

something horrible, and he wasn't going to have any more of 


Thereafter my only calendar was under the sleeping mat. 
In the dirt I would scratch the date each morning, wiping 
out the one scratched the previous day and hiding the new 
number by adjusting the mat over It. In this way I kept track 
of the days for almost a year, and was pleased and proud that 
at the end, when I had a chance to check, my date was correct. 

Inside the house virtually nothing else happened; but out- 
side there was a nightly drama. The village was apparently 
the center of a Chinese staging area. Many troops were around 
us all the time, and I could hear frequent firing of American 
machine guns and M-i rifles on a range somewhere nearby, 
as if newly arrived troops were being given opportunities to 
foe a few rounds each with captured weapons. Chinese man- 
ned some light anti-aircraft positions near us, and their mule- 
drawn transport frequently creaked along outside. Now and 
then I could hear the dit-dah-dit of a radio from one of the 
wagons. My guards occasionally came back with new equip- 
ment, which they obviously had obtained in trades with the 
Chinese; and quite often I could hear Chinese women soldiers, 
who laughed a great deal, talking to the Koreans outside the 

At night this friendliness disappeared. Quite obviously the 
Chinese were accustomed to using whatever houses they could 
find as billets, and they wanted to use ours too. But the 
Koreans had definite orders that no one was to see me, so 
there was a stalemate, which involved endless arguments, 
usually after midnight and often loud and violent. After a 
few weeks of this U must have complained, because an officer 

People, Cold, and Flies 2 1 1 

appeared with four new men De Han Gool, U Bong Song, 
Kong, and Um. This made seven guards, ail sleeping in one 
eight-by-eight room (less the one always on duty), but some- 
how they managed. With all this new help U set up a double 
guard one outside the building, one watching me on a 
twenty-four-hour basisbut the increased strength was to 
combat the Chinese, not me. 

I think the Koreans were very much afraid the Chinese 
would demand my custody and hang on to me if they ever 
found out where I was, and my rank. (This had been obvious 
at Manpo, and I also saw later evidence that the custody of 
officer-prisoners was a disputed point between them.) 

The arguments, however, continued, and one night became 
so violent I thought they might start shooting each other. All 
the off-duty guards grabbed their weapons and ran out. I 
dressed hurriedly, planning to take a little walk away from 
there when the fight started but it never did. I took off all 
the outdoor clothes again and went on with my exercises. 

I had last seen a barber just prior to my interrogation at 
Sunan in September 1950. Of course I was not allowed to 
have a razor, so once in a while a guard would shave rne, using 
ordinary hand soap for cream and a straight-edged razor, 
which was also used to cut paper and trim toenails. This was 
always an ordeal, and I was delighted that it averaged only 
once every seventeen days. Pack, who sometimes shaved me, 
just pulled the whiskers out; U, when he did the job, twisted 
them off, taking an average of two hours to do an excellent 
job. I'm an old twice-a-day shaver, but I didn't even want to 
think about it here. 

As workmen, the Koreans veered between doing the impos- 
sible and doing the ordinary in an impossible way. Their car- 
pentry was slap-dash, full of cracks and holes, and likely to 

2 1 2 General Dean's Story 

fall down at any time. They're sledgehammer mechanics, and 
never measure anything if they think they can get by without 
it. They'll work and work to make a substitute for something 
scarce, such as nails. Whenever they had something to fix, 
Fd see one of the men wandering around whatever building 
we were occupying, wearing a wild look and searching all 
over under the eaves., in the rafters, along the edges of the 
floor for something he could use as a nail. I saw one of them 
take a piece of old American wire, carefully straighten it, and 
cut it off into nail lengths with an ax. But when he was through 
with that job he threw away what wire was left, with no 
frugality whatever, no thought of the next job he might have 
to do. 

But the same men were capable of extraordinary handwork, 
as illustrated by Pak, one of the new guards. He had acquired 
a cigarette lighter and wanted to make it fancier by fitting the 
end of a rifle cartridge shell on it. While I watched much too 
close he carefully removed the projectile from the cartridge, 
took a nail, and prepared to detonate the cap in a crack in the 
floor by pounding with a rock. I complained so violently that 
he finally went down to the kitchen, but still used the same 
system. Of course nothing happened to him, although I would 
have blown off a finger if Fd done it. 

A day or so later I saw him worrying because Kim Song 
Su's watch had no crystal. Pak found an old electric-light bulb, 
and as tools located a penknife blade, a rock, and an ax. With 
these he cut a watch crystal from the light bulb and it fit 

Try it sometime. 

Only a few weeks after De Soon Yur and Pack had gone 
away, supposedly to officers' school, they returned to guard 
duty, but I never was able to find out whether I had misun- 

People, Cold, and Flies 213 

derstood in the first place or whether their plans had been 
changed. Language difficulty left me in the dark whenever 
explanations were complicated. By the same token, I was 
sometimes confused about just what I was eating. Once, when 
we had gone about a month with no meat or fish, the guard 
arrived with something he proudly called #& and I got the 
idea that it was unborn calf. It was months before I learned 
that this quite tasty meat had actually been dog. 

During most of the winter months our diversions were 
three song sessions, chong-gun, and air raids. To vary their 
study routine the guards spent an hour or two in the evening 
singing in chorus the usual Inmun Gun and patriotic songs, 
and sometimes one would sing for the others what apparently 
were old folk songs of his home province. Several of the men 
had excellent voices, and I enjoyed it. 

The chong-gun was resumed shortly after we came south, 
when one of the guards sketched another rough board. I still 
was not allowed to play but generally could watch and got a 
fairly good idea of the players 5 abilities. I also noticed one 
thing: De Soon Yur was a good player, and also clever. Against 
a really tough opponent he had one special trick. He would 
make a tentative move with his sung (elephant), then take it 
back again. All players made such tentative moves, but De 
made his count: the sung never went back to the exact spot 
from which he had moved it. Instead, it would end up on a 
spot from which, two or three moves later, he could make an 
effective attack. Apparently none of the other players noticed 
this, but I stored the information away for future reference. 

The air raids were the most frequent break in our routine. 
Our Air Force apparently was aware that this valley had spe- 
cial importance, and they worked it over, day after day. A 
lot of the attacking planes were light propellor-driven craft, 

214 General Dean's Story 

which came in so low I thought they might take the roof off 
the house. I wasn't sure of the main objectives, but later found 
we were close to an important railroad junction, which prob- 
ably got the most attention. 

In our immediate area, a dozen miles north of Pyongyang, 
there seemed to be no heavy anti-aircraft, although I thought 
I heard 40-millimeter guns. As the raids increased they got on 
the nerves of the troops around, and everybody fired some- 
thingburp guns, rifles, small machine guns. The air would be 
full of lead flying in all directions. I often wondered how 
many casualties that wild and indiscriminate firing must have 
caused among their own people. 

For me the air raids meant little. At first we did nothing; 
later the guards dug a shelter, a trench with a long log-and- 
earth covering; one end of it was actually in our kitchen, the 
other outdoors. It was so shallow that when I was rushed there 
I had to crouch in the mud. When the raids came eight or 
ten times a day this got downright tiresome. 

On March 3 I had my first official visitation of the year, 
from a three-star colonel, who neglected to take off his shoes 
when he entered the house a serious insult in any Korean or 
Japanese housea major, and an officer-interpreter. 

The colonel, who did most of the talking, again told me 
that our forces were being driven south and were surrounded. 
What did I think? I said I thought we must not be doing too 
badly, because I had been told two months earlier that we were 
surrounded. So if we still were fighting, it was quite a record. 

The colonel also wanted to know what I thought about 
pillaging and rape by our troops. He said, "Your men not only 
raped young and single women but they raped married 
women, pregnant women, and little children, and it was sanc- 
tioned by your officers." 

People, Cold, and Flies 215 

I said that was an outright lie. Officers of the United States 
Army do not sanction rape. There are bound to be isolated 
cases; but in those cases the man is subject to court-martial. I 
myself had approved death sentences imposed by courts- 
martial in rape cases. 

Suddenly the interpreter spoke up on his own. "That's not 
true," he said. "I know you've had rapes. I worked for your 
Criminal Intelligence Division, and I know you had troops at 
Inchon who committed rape and didn't get the death penalty 
when found guilty." 

I've never been able to learn the name of this particular 

The colonel also wanted me to remember my place. "You've 
lost all your dignity," he said. "You must quit trying to act 
like a general. Here you are, a prisoner, but even the guard 
complains that you try to act like a general. You're no better 
than a dog. Stop trying to act superior to the guard." 

He went on to more questions: Why did I think the Chinese 
"volunteers" had come in and were fighting us? 

I said, "Because their master told them to, because Stalin 
told them to." 

This made them all chatter. The interpreter finally said, "If 
the Soviet had wanted to attack they would have attacked 
when your troops went to the very border of the Soviet 
Union, but not a single Soviet soldier entered the fray. There- 
fore the Soviet would not order anyone else to fight. The 
reason the Chinese came in is the same reason that you would 
take action if there was a burglar in your neighborhood. Our 
Chinese brothers saw robbers in their neighbor's house, and 
that is why they came to our assistance." 

Well, none of this was much fun, but at least I had learned 
about the United Nations eastern stab to the Yalu River, which 

2 1 6 General Dean's Story 

was news to me. The visit came when my morale was low and 
my mood bad, and I took the opportunity to do some beefing 
of my own. I demanded to be taken to a POW camp, to be 
given paper and pencils, to be allowed to stand up, to get more 
exercise, and to get outdoors. Previously I had made such 
requests just as requests; this time I was half -sick and irritable, 
so I made demands. Not that they did any good. The only 
answer I got was that these matters would be taken up with 
"higher authority." Then my visitors trooped out. 

I was mildly amused to notice that word about my attempt 
to kill Colonel Kim must have spread. These three cookies 
lacked confidence in themselves and kept two special guards 
with sub-machine guns at the doors all the time they were in 
the house. So far as I could see, there were no changes as a 
result of the visit. 

On March 6 I became very ill, with severe pains in my right 
side. I couldn't eat anything and ran a temperature. Presently 
a doctor came to see me; he spoke no English, brought no 
interpreter, and there was no noticeable effect except that the 
guards permitted me to stay on my sleeping mat during the 
days until about March 15. The sickness had passed by then, 
but I was terribly weak, and my morale hit a new low. In my 
mind I had been prognosticating strategy of the United 
Nations Forces, and my guess-day for a major attack was 
March 15, when I thought I should be ready to make a break 
through the lines. But when the day came I couldn't have 
walked a hundred yards, let alone carry out an escape, even 
if the attack had come within hearing distance. Actually, Seoul 
did fall to United Nations troops on March 1 8, but the advance 
ended on the 38th parallel, well south of me. 

My morale continued to sink. Finally I realized I had to do 
something about it, get something to think about. So I started 

People, Cold, and Flies 2 1 7 

working simple algebraic problems in my head and playing 
mental anagrams how many different words can be made out 
of the letters in the name Sacramento? Washington? San Fran- 
cisco? Having no paper, I kept score in my head and obtained 
simply fantastic totals. I had no way to be sure I was not 
duplicating, and someday I want to sit down with a dictionary 
and verify my totals. 

One day I began working on squares and square roots of 
numbers and really got interested. I memorized the squares of 
numbers from i to 100. Then I began hunting for fast systems 
of squaring. For example, the squares of numbers between 10 
and 20 have the same right-hand digits as those between 60 and 
70, and the relationship follows through. So the square of 40 
is 1600; the square of 41 is 1681, and the square of 42 is 1764 
and the square of 90 is 8100, the square of 91 is 8281, and 
the square of 92 is 8464. 

If you are not interested in mathematics this sort of thing 
may drive you to pounding your head against the nearest 
wall; but believe me, it kept me from beating my head against 
one. I finally rationed myself to squaring five hundred num- 
bers a day, no more. So I always had something to do the 
next day. 

U Eun Chur was still in charge of me during the early part 
of the year and continued to waver in his attitude, worrying 
terribly when I was sick (perhaps more because of his respon- 
sibility than because of any sympathetic interest) , but in vir- 
tually the next breath restricting my activities even further. 
The top in restrictions came one day when he caught me 
counting to myself. My hands were swollen from disuse and 
beri-beri, as were my feet, so I had worked out a cross-finger 
exercise, which consisted of pressing the thumb and the fore- 
finger together five times, hard, then the thumb and second 

2 1 8 General Dean's Story 

finger five times, and so on across both hands. By then I knew 
better than to let the guards see me doing anything unusual, 
so I did this exercise with my hand hidden by my side while 
I sat on the floor with my back against the wall But as U Eun 
Chur passed me once he saw my lips moving. Immediately he 
said in Korean, "What are you doing?" and made me under- 
stand by mimicking my lip movements. 

I said, "Counting il> ee, sahm, sah, oh" 
* He scowled, and there was no mistaking his negative, I must 
not, he indicated, count without permission. 

I'm still of two minds about this man. He was a great 
nuisance, enforcing every restrictive rule to the letter and 
making up new ones of his own. He had been one of the guards 
during some of my worst interrogation sessions, in September 
1950, and I'm sure he had taken his cue from the lovable 
Colonel Kim. 

But U was also a fine soldier and scrupulously fair. As an 
officer I admired the way he drilled his squad, made them 
study their propaganda, and divided the work. However, my 
final experience with him was on the ludicrous side. In this 
Communist army, soldiers stealing from each other was the 
standard order of procedure. So when a guard acquired some 
small personal treasure he often would hide it in my suit-coat 
pocket, which hung from nails at the end of my small room. 
Sometimes two or three guards had things hidden there simul- 
taneously, although for some odd reason no two of them ever 
happened to choose the same pocket. Of them all, U was the 
only one who never had done it. 

On May 6 the guards had a party the first I'd ever known 
them to havecomplete with special food, sake, and a great 
deal of talk and laughter. In the middle of the festivities U 

People, Cold, and Flies 2 1 9 

slipped into my room, lifted the back corner of my sleeping 
mat, and under it dropped a package of almost a hundred 
cigarettes (he knew I didn't smoke), smoothing the mat care- 
fully over them. The party continued without interruption. 

When, on May n, U came in with another guard for one 
of his special surprise searches, I didn't have a thing to find 
except one little handkerchief, which I had hemstitched for 
myself, with a borrowed needle and small skill, but this became 
an issue, although he let me keep it after long argument. Then 
he lifted the mat and really did jump up and down and go 
into a lather. This obviously was going to be a super perform- 
anceuntil I began to laugh. I couldn't help myself. All I 
could do was to point at him and repeat, "Tongsun" (you) . 

He might have been able to pass it off if the other guard 
hadn't been watching his histrionics. Apparently U had been 
given those cigarettes for all the men at that May 6 party but 
had decided to keep them for himself, then had forgotten them 
when he sobered up. Now the only thing he could do was to 
make a somewhat shamefaced equal distribution. It was a 
trivial thing, but one of the high points of my year. 

The next day U came to say good-by. He was wearing the 
shoulder boards of a second lieutenant. The May 6 party had 
been to celebrate U's upcoming commission. 

This was a dismal period. For what they're worth, I think 
I should repeat the two clairvoyant obsessions that bothered 
me during my lowest moments. These were that both Lieuten- 
nant General Walton Walker, of the Eighth Army, and 
Colonel Henry (Hank) Hampton, my close personal friend, 
had been killed. I'm positive that no one had mentioned either 
name to me for months, but I was just as sure as if I had read 
the news somewhere. I even had datesearly November for 

220 General Dean's Story 

Colonel Hampton and early January for General Walker, and 
was sure General Walker's had come from artillery fire while 
he was visiting the front lines. 

In midsummer I learned that I had been right about Gen- 
eral Walker's death, although wrong about the time and cir- 
cumstances; and after I was released I found that Colonel 
Hampton had indeed been killed at Suwon in the autumn. I 
have no explanation. 

De Soon Yur took over as chief guard when U left, but my 
situation improved more slowly than I had hoped. I still could 
not stand or lie down during the day, and De apparently was 
afraid to modify those orders. I had another week-long sick 
spell hepatitis, I think. Bombers increased their raids in the 
long spring days, and we spent a lot of time in that stinking 
air-raid trench. 

I objected to the trench on various grounds, among them 
the fact that going to it interfered with my newest game- 
killing flies. I had done a little strictly amateur fly-killing the 
previous autumn; now I got serious about it. In April 195 1 the 
first of the season's fly crop appeared, and I started batting at 
them with my palm and keeping track of strikes and hits. I 
had to keep my records mentally, but I ended May with an 
even three hundred flies killed and a batting average just over 
.300. In the first half of June my average was better but total 
hits were the same an even three hundred. Then De pre- 
sented me with a fly-swatter he had manufactured from a 
willow branch and the old half-sole of a shoe. My average 
immediately took a terrific jump to .760. I was studying flies 
and think I eventually might have batted .850. The trick is 
never to try to swat a fly when he's standing still. Wait until 
he starts walking, or lifts his front feet to wash. Then you bust 
him, because he can't take off without shifting position first. 

People, Cold, and Flies 2 2 i 

The guards were interested but Insisted that I couldn't count 
my score unless I produced the corpus delicti. So I carefully 
saved each deceased fly during the day, then crawled over to 
present them at night. This really was a dignified procedure. 
A guard would lend me a pencil to put down my total kill 
and batting average for the day. My June total (half the time 
with the swatter) was 2866. I had already figured this in my 
head; so when the time came for the official scoring I merely 
put down the blows struck and totals without adding the 
columns. This fascinated one guard, who immediately checked 
my columns and claimed to have found an error. I rapidly 
added it and got my original answer, but he still insisted I was 
wrong. We argued loudly, in two languages, and then I fool- 
ishly became provoked, tore up the paper score, and told them 
to keep their flies, damn them. 

Both De and the other guard were angry, and I kicked 
myself for indiscretion I was afraid they might take away 
my swatter. But nothing happened except that I no longer 
counted total strokes. 

Just to keep this vitally important record straight, my top 
day in 1951 was 492 kills; but my all-time best, In 1953, was 
a 522-fly day. I killed 11,016 in 1951; 25,475 in 1952, but in 
1953 lost interest and murdered only 41 Sofor a grand total 
of 40,671. Anyone who wants to challenge my three-year 
swatting record will have to show r me the flies. 

I was not the only one periodically miserable during the 
first part of this year. Kong, one of the new guards, was older 
than most of the others, and became ill soon after he was 
assigned to watch me. For days he lay on the floor, rolling in 
agony and coughing almost constantly. I was sure he had 
tuberculosis, plus some stomach disorder. Finally he was taken 
away, presumably to a hospital, and was gone for three weeks. 

222 General Dean's Story 

When he came back his side had been split by a large wound, 
from which a drain still protruded. I thought he must have 
been operated on for an appendix which already had burst. 
He went back to limited guard duty, still coughing and 
spitting regularly. 

My own second sick spell left me even weaker than before 
and again put off any half-formed escape plans I had. Even 
when I went to the kitchen, which also was my personal 
latrine, my legs sometimes would collapse; and a couple of 
times I passed out completely, just trying to walk. I don't 
think I'm normally a hypochondriac, but I was convinced 
that I had cancer of the gall bladder. 

A doctor was called to see me and at least he knew exactly 
where to press my abdomen so that it hurt the most. Through 
an interpreter he asked me what I would like most to eat if I 
were at home. I think he expected me to say something about 
steak, but the thing which sounded best to me was milk toast. 
I said, "Hot milk toast with lots of butter on it"; I knew im- 
mediately that I'd made a mistake they couldn't possibly 
provide that, and they didn't even try. If I'd asked for some- 
thing reasonable, perhaps they would have. The doctor ruined 
my opinion of his diagnostic ability, however, with one more 
question. Had I, he wondered, ever had a venereal disease? I 
was happy to tell him I had not. When I showed him my feet, 
still swollen and as painful as if they had just been frost-bitten, 
he was not in the least interested. So I continued to go bare- 
foot because I no longer could get my socks on. 

In the spring the food routine was changed. All the guards 
but the man actually on duty went next door for meals, but 
the duty guard's food and mine was brought to us. For a 
while we ate together; but one of the new people obviously 
thought it was beneath his dignity to eat with a prisoner, so 

People, Cold, and Flies 223 

set my food on the floor by the door of my room. Shortly 
afterward this became a standard practice. 

The guards now were getting some military training, which 
they had not received all winter; and in the spring De con- 
ducted extensive calisthenics every morning. But I still got 
mine, if at all, in my room, and each day faced the dilemma 
of whether to get my full exercise while the off-duty guards 
were outside running and jumping or to wash my face. Wash- 
ing was always a problem, and if I didn't get it done at this 
hour I seldom had a chance later. This too had to be handled 
with extreme caution. The surest way to miss a day's wash 
was to ask some guard directly for permission to do it. The 
answer almost always was a negative, although if he thought 
of it himself, washing was a good idea. 

As the summer progressed and my fly-ldlling became more 
of a full-time operation, washing acquired special importance. 
Every time I'd smack a fly especially when I was doing it 
with my palm I'd raise a cloud of dust, and by the end of a 
day my face and hands would be filthy. So missing one of iny 
daily chances to wash represented an esthetic as well as a 
practical problem. 

The mosquitoes also were getting worse. Some of them 
hatched in the water always in the bottom of that air-raid 
trench, which was convenient for them, and other hundreds 
came in from outside. I noted that a great many of them had 
the habit typical of malaria-bearing mosquitoes of standing 
on their heads when they took a hunk out of you. In the 
morning when I was dressing I'd use my fly-swatter on the 
ceiling, and the whole ceiling and wall would be bloody with 
the carcasses. But they still came in. 

The guards occasionally got sufficiently interested in my fly 
campaign to swat a few themselves usually choosing a time 

224 General Dean's Story 

when I was just trying for a big score and borrowing my 
swatter. But their system of controlling mosquitoes was to 
build an evening fire in the onder, even on the hottest nights, 
which made the floor so hot that we slept in pools of perspira- 
tion. Sometimes they brought in a hibachi, the iron kettle 
containing not only charcoal but a few brambles, which almost 
suffocated us with charcoal fumes and smoke. Neither had 
any noticeable effect on the mosquitoes. 

Or the flies. My campaign kept down the number in the 
area where I was allowed to hunt, and this helped my comfort 
some but had one effect on which I hadn't counted. As the 
flies got worse more and more of the guards would sleep, dur- 
ing their off hours, in my little room, in order to get away 
from the flies. If a man was sleeping I couldn't get even my 
fifteen minutes a day of walking. 

Our deadly routine was broken once when De Soon Yur's 
wife walked sixty miles from Haeju to see him and he took a 
night off in celebration the first time I'd known any of the 
men to get a pass for personal reasons. De's wife brought him 
some very fine hand-worked underwear, also a bag of peanuts, 
of which I was given a few. After a winter of almost unre- 
lieved rice they tasted wonderful. 

On July 5 I had another visitorMajor Kim, with an inter- 
preter, Captain Oh Ki Man. Kim said he had just come to see 
how I was getting along and did I think the war could be 
ended by negotiation? I said I doubted it. As I remember, I 
stated, "I don't think there would be a chance in the world. 
The United States never starts wars; but when we do fight 
them, we fight to win. And we do win." 

Kim said, "I didn't come to argue, but I feel that the only 
way the war can be ended so there is a permanent peace is by 

People, Cold, and Flies 225 

In early summer some of the guards were away for days, 
helping nearby farmers put in their crops. And all during July 
virtually all of the off-duty men were gone during daylight. 
On July 1 7 De Soon Yur announced with obvious pride that 
we were going to move to a "trenchee" he had picked up the 
word from my designation of the air-raid shelter. That night 
we packed all our things, and three guards and I struggled 
out in the dark and about two hundred yards up the steep 
hill directly behind the house. 

Here we entered a covered trench dug across the side of the 
hill. It was six feet wide, about fourteen feet long, and barely 
high enough for a man to stand between the rafters support- 
Ing a dirt-and-log roof. It was entered through a right angle 
at one end, and the floor was three feet below the doorsill. 
Five-foot bunks for two guards were in the main tunnel, and 
at the far end a bay had been dug back into the hill. This five- 
by-six-foot haven was all for me. Three and a half feet of the 
width was occupied by a wooden bench, my sleeping couch 
by night, my sitting room by day. 

The cave, De assured me, would protect us against pi-yang- 
gi (airplanes) and flies. Although the summer outside was 
boiling hot, the cave was dank, full of mosquitoes, chilly, and 
completely airless. I put on my heavy underwear and winter 
clothing to keep warm. De had assured me that I would get 
sunbaths and outdoor walks at the cave, but I got neither, 
partially because of the weather. Rain started as soon as we 
moved in, and continued for daysrain such as I've seen only 
in Korea. The sky just bucketed. On the chilliest days the 
guard would bring in a hibachi, which raised the temperature 
a couple of degrees but filled the cave with choking charcoal 
fumes. The roof leaked, and guards dug ditches in a fruitless 
effort to drain the water off the floor. 

226 General Dean's Story 

Robbed of my fly-killing pastime, I spent my time looking 
at the rock walls, which contained mica, quartz, and, I'm sure, 
a few flecks of gold, and massaging my sore feet. 

Food was poor that summer. Besides the diluted rice, about 
all we had were garlic beads and tops, the latter chopped up 
and extremely hot. They burned all the way down, and my 
stomach never stopped burning until it was time to eat more 
of them. My dysentery was back, so I was a little more miser- 
able than before. 

On about July 24 a day I should remember more exactly 
a guard came home from the town with a loaf of bread. I felt 
like putting my torn-off chunk of it up somewhere, just to 
look at, but wonder gave way to hunger. I told the guard to 
forget about any other food that day. I didn't want anything 
else to spoil the taste of that wonderful bread. I learned later 
that De, worried about my inability to eat as many red-hot 
garlic tops as the guards, had gone to headquarters and stirred 
up such a racket that my food allowance was increased to 800 
ton a day, compared to the 500 allowed for each guard, and 
to the sergeant's basic pay of 1250 ton a month. That loaf 
of bread represented the first of the ration increase and was 
also the first I had seen since early in September 1950. 


My Friend WiJfrel Burchett 

The rains continued, the roof leaked steadily, and the floor 
drains clogged. Some time after midnight on July 3 1 a guard 
shook me awake. I put on my clothes but was told to leave 
everything else and stepped down from my wooden bench 
into water already almost waist-deep. It had covered the 
guards' bunks, a little lower than my own, and still was rising. 
We splashed the length of the tunnel, getting soaked to the 
armpits when we had to stoop under the roof beams, and, in 
pouring rain, sloshed back down the hill to our village castle. 
Three sleeping guards were routed out of my four-by-eight 
special section, and an old woman and a child, who had moved 
into the main room, were ousted the next day. 

The rain kept right on coming. The air-raid trench filled 
and overflowed into the kitchen, and the mosquitoes had a 
wonderful time. 

The guards were doing the cooking themselves, for a 
change, and once a glorious day they secured some potatoes. 
Boiled potatoes and rice may not sound like much of a dinner, 
but then well, I still remember it, although now I have trouble 
figuring out why I should have been so overjoyed. 

This arrangement continued only a few days. Then a 
woman was hired as a cook, which made it bad for me because 
the guards were adamant that she must never see me. Although 


228 General Dean's Story 

she was there only at mealtime, this meant that I spent even 
more time in my lightless closet, and could not even run up 
my fly-killing score during those hours, for fear she might 
hear the swatting. I don't know how they explained to her 
the extra man's ration and extra rice bowl used at each meal. 

On August 4 I began to run a fever with a typical malarial 
four-day cycle, which left me sleepless and half out of my 
head. I was gradually going insane from the sound of a wall 
clock, which hung in the guards' room where I could not see 
it. I swear this Korean clock made a special dull sound, dih- 
dah, rather than a normal ticktock; and I beat my brains out 
trying to figure the time from the sound. I couldn't get enough 
water to drink and was becoming more and more delirious. 
Finally I scratched a note, "Quinine or atabrine," and De went 
off to see a iveesah (doctor), who I hoped would get the note 
translated somehow. 

To my delight De came back in only a few hours with five 
big yellow atabrine pills, which gave me almost immediate 
relief. In Tokyo much later, U. S. Army doctors told me this 
may have saved me, in my weakened condition. Atabrine is a 
treatment for dysentery as well as for malaria. 

When I began to feel better I thought once more about 
escape. Summer was full, brush was leafed out, and the fields 
were full of corn and other vegetables. If I ever was going to 
get through, this was the time. Fortunately we were getting a 
little dried fish with our rice just then, and I began to save it. 
I'd eat just enough to leave a few bones in my rice bowl for 
the guards and the cook to see, wrapped the rest in scraps of 
papers, and hid it in the pockets of the trousers hanging on the 
wall. After U left there were no more sudden searches of my 
belongings, so it was fairly safe. 

On August 15 Major Kim came again. This time I found 

My Friend Wilfred Burchett 229 

out, after much muddled translation, that he wanted informa- 
tion about Robert Lovett. He was quite disappointed when I 
could tell him only that I didn't know the Secretary of De- 
fense. It was he who told me then that General Walker had 
been killed the previous winter. 

By September 6 I felt almost normal physically, for the first 
time in months, and my escape plans began to take definite 
shape. Again I picked a date for a United Nations offensive- 
September 15 or October i and hoped to be ready for it. I 
was saving dried fish like mad. But the guards were talking 
about moving back to the trench, on which they had been 
working ever since the heavy rains stopped, and I knew I'd 
have to get away before we moved. From the inside room of a 
cave, escape is too difficult to think about. 

Major Kim visited me once more, on September 15. The 
interpreter, Captain Oh, explained that the date was Korean 
Thanksgiving Day, by the lunar calendar, and that on this 
date gifts were exchanged and visits made to friends. Kim 
brought me two dozen apples as a gift; also some more ques- 
tions, just to pass the time of day: How in the world did I 
think we could win the war by fighting when we were being 
defeated at every turn? What political party did I belong to? 
What were the political affiliations of Generals MacArthur, 
Marshall, and Bradley? Then suddenly he asked, "Did you 
know that General MacArthur has been dismissed? " 

I said, "No." 

He said, "Yes, he was dismissed last spring." 

I said, "That news is a great shock to me." But I could get 
no further details. 

Each of us ate an apple then, and I enjoyed mine thor- 
oughly. After the visitors had gone I gave the guards the rest 
except for four; but the next day De came into my room to 

230 General Dean's Story 

tell me sad news. Pack was ill. He said, "Poor Pack" a few 
times, until I got the idea that the only thing Pack needed as 
a cure was an apple-a sagwah. Pack had been good to me, 
so I gave De two apples for him. I'm not entirely sure that 
Pack got them both. 

The next day I felt that Pd Hke to eat an apple myself. I 
waited until no one was around except De, broke an apple, 
and gave him half, eating the other half myself. The following 
day I repeated this procedure with another guardand all the 
apples were gone. So out of my gift of two dozen, I actually 
got to eat two. But guards frequently shared their special 
treats with me, so it evened out. 

It was now a race between an opportunity for escape and 
moving back to the trench, but it never came to a showdown. 
Instead, I got another fine attack of malaria, which laid me 
flat on my back. This time, I called for medicine on the sec- 
ond day of it, and De again secured five atabrine tablets. They 
worked, but not soon enough. The day I was able to wiggle 
we moved back up to the repaired and improved cave. 

So I ate the hoarded fish, to keep it from spoiling. The 
United Nations attack had not been on schedule anyhow, so 
perhaps it was just as well. I thought, "Well, the United 
States has probably had general mobilization by this time. 
They weren't able to get a full-scale attack mounted by 
autumn, but it will come March 15 of next year. On March 
15, Dean, you've got to be in shape to get away and meet them 
on the beaches." 

The cave was much improved, larger and better ventilated. 
At the entrance a wall was built up on one side, and occasion- 
ally I was allowed to sit beside it for a sunbath. As added 
insurance that no one would see me, guards cut saplings and 
stuck them into the ground, forming an artificial greenery 

My Friend Wilfred Burchett 2 3 1 

wall almost all around the cave entrance. I was also allowed 
to walk in an area just six paces long. Once in a while I man- 
aged to get in half a mile of walking in this space before 
somebody made me stop. Food was improving, in fits and 
starts. Once I was given a whole pound of butter, which I 
put in my soup, a spoonful per bowl, in place of meat stock, 
and four cans of Soviet-supplied evaporated milk, which I 
shared with the guards. They didn't care for butter, so I got 
all of that. Life in the cave wasn't bad, and I thought that I 
wouldn't mind if we stayed there all winter. 

But on October 29 I was told to get ready to move again. 
I asked if our troops were advancing, and got no answer. 
Nevertheless I was sure that was what had happened, and that 
we'd be taking another one of those long cold rides to the 
north again. I thought, "Manpo, here we come!" And this 
time I decided to be ready for the trip. I put on everything I 
had woolen underwear, then a pair of shorts, then the Korean 
cotton underwear I had been given, about three pairs of socks, 
my summer trousers, and then my Chinese padded trousers. 
I had on a shirt, a U. S. fatigue jacket, a summer suit coat, 
and a padded coat. 

1 was so bundled up I could hardly waddle, but at least I 
would be warm. When we started to walk from the cave De 
also put his cap on my head, so I'd be further disguised. We 
got into a jeep one officer with no rank insignia, a driver, De 
Soon Yur, and De Han Gool, I in my padded layers of cloth- 
ing, and all our gear, including my blanket roll and a thin 
cotton pad. That jeep bulged but got under way. 

We started south, not north, then cut to the east across a 
railroad, and finally back north up on a ridge, where we 
stopped. I thought, "Well, we're going to walk to Manpo, 
but it won't be too tough now. I'm in fairly good shape." 

232 General Dean's Story 

However, we went down a trail only about a half-mile and 
came to the rear end of a newly built little concrete house, 
stuck right into the side of a hill, with the roof camouflaged 
by dirt. The whole building was only about seven and a half 
by twelve feet. It was divided into two sleeping rooms, plus 
the usual kitchen and onder-firing space, and I was shown to 
a room five by seven and a half feet, which had in it a three- 
foot-wide bench, so that standing space was an aisle two feet 
wide. There were two small windows, not big enough to 
stick my head through, but with real glass in them. 

The house had been built especially for me. We had driven 
about three miles but were less than a mile and a half from 
the village where we had stayed since January 1951. Our 
food still came from the same kitchen, and guards had to 
walk over for it every day. 

I was delighted. This was the cleanest building I'd seen in 
North Koreaand I had no desire to go north, adding to the 
miles I'd have to come back when I did get around to 

For the guards one of the most important factors was that 
this house was away from Chinese concentrations. They could 
relax about keeping people from sharing my quarters and 
finding out about me. But there were difficulties. The onder 
didn't work, and they had to tear up the floor (of poor quality 
cement, which seemed to be in ample supply) a couple of 
times to remake the flues. And their own quarters were im- 
possibly cramped until they cut down the size of the kitchen 
and added a foot or two to their own sleeping space. 

My treatment improved some. De allowed me a few forty- 
five-minute sunbaths outdoors, screened by another row of 
saplings cut and set up in the dirt between the house and the 
latrine, twelve yards away. But when a young Korean officer 

My Friend Wilfred Burchett 233 

inspecting the place caught me seated on my bench doing 
calisthenics, he apparently objected. Thereafter De informed 
me they were prohibited unless I had special permission al- 
though I still got my few minutes each morning. 

Otherwise life proceeded almost exactly as it had before, 
with a couple of added diversions. The new house was clean, 
but that sod-covered roof proved a special attraction for North 
Korean rats, who knew as well as anybody that a hard winter 
was on the way. These characters proceeded with all speed 
to dig tunnels for themselves under the sod, then kept on 
burrowing, down toward the heat of the room. That was their 
mistake. Terrible engineers, those rats. They dug so deep that 
only a thin skin of paper and dirt was between them and the 
open room below, and their tunnels took in water from the 
upper ends. The result was that the roof leakedwater much 
of the time, rats now and then. I don't know why every rat 
who fell through the ceiling had to choose a spot directly 
over my head, but it seemed to me they did. At least five times 
wildly flailing rats landed on my face while I was asleep. 

This was disconcerting to me, and unfortunate for the 
rats. Each time it happened the whole house went into pande- 
monium while the guards held a wild and woolly rat hunt. 
It might not have been so bad if they had used an American 
system, just swinging clubs around until they beat the rat to 
death; but their system was to get him with a sharp-pointed 
instrument, a pencil, dagger, or bayonet, stabbing him to 

There was always a terrific battle, and the rat always lost. 
The carnage was terrible. Four or five men would be in my 
tiny room at once, all stabbing. By the time they finally got 
the rat the room looked as if it had been bombed. 

Suddenly, on December 19, Dean's prison life changed. The 

234 General Dean's Story 

first Indication was another visit from Major Kim and Cap- 
tain Oh, who arrived about ten p.m. and for once posed no 
new questions about the course of the war. Instead Kim said, 
"Wouldn't you like to write a letter to your wife? You don't 
want your family to worry. Don't you want to write and tell 
them you're all right?" 

I felt something strange in the conversation, but I said only 
that I'd written a letter a year before and had given it to 
Colonel Choi, who'd promised to mail it. 

Both of them said, "Oh? We didn't know about that." They 
insisted that I write another anyhowand do it that night. 
Kim provided a pen and paper and seated me on the floor at 
a wobbly little table in the larger room of the house. The 
house was wired for electricity, but our bombers had been 
busy on the transmission lines, so we had only an oil can with 
a wick in it for light. 

I had been without any sort of writing implement in my 
hand for sixteen months, except to make a few figures, and I 
had trouble. I was horrified at my own script. My N's looked 
like M's, and my M's like nothing legible. I struggled through 
a letter to Mildred, then tried to read it, but I couldn't even 
make it out myself, so I rewrote it twice more. Then Captain 
Oh read it aloud, in Korean, but it wouldn't do, because I had 
started: "This is a red-letter day in my life. I have just been 
told that I can have a pencil, and that I can write to you" 

That part about a pencil wouldn't pass, Major Kim said. 
I did the whole letter over, foolishly without insisting that 
they read all of it first. So the next version also was turned 
down, this time because I had written, farther down: "T 
haven't seen a fellow American since July 1950." 

Version number five finally was approved, well after mid- 
night. Major Kim said, "Who else do you want to write to?" 

My Friend Wilfred Burchett 235 

I said, "I don't want to write to anyone else tonight. I'll 
write tomorrow." 

He said, "Oh no. It must be tonight." 

So finally I wrote another letter, to my daughter, and dated 
It the twentieth. I had to make only two copies to get one that 
was legible. When I simply was too tired to write any more 
the two officers left, carrying my letters and some photos 
taken at Pyongyang shortly after my capture. These they had 
brought to have me sign, to show that they were genuine. 

In January 1952, when I got my first mail, I learned what 
all the rush had been that night. Those two letters of mine 
were turned over to United Nations representatives as the 
first letters in the original exchange of prisoner mail, on De- 
cember 20 or 21. But before they were given to our people 
the texts were furnished to the Communist press. 

I slept very little that night. I was excited about having 
a pencil. And in the morning I had another visitor a major 
general, no less, named Lee. With him was my old chum, 
Lieutenant Colonel Choi. This gave me an opportunity for 
which I'd been waiting, and I let Choi have it. One of the 
first things I said to the general was, "This is the man who 
told me that I could wash twice a day, and I've never been 
permitted to do it. Why?" I was getting adept at their own 
type of phraseology. "This is the man who was going to 
take up with higher authority my request to go to a POW 
camp. All right, what does higher authority say about it? 
This is the man who gave orders that I wasn't to play chong- 
gun. Why?" 

The general was making a big act out of being friendly, 
so I really poured it on old Choi. Choi squirmed. He said, 
"Oh, I didn't say you couldn't play chong-gun." 

I said, "Then why was I stopped immediately after you 

2 3 6 General Dean's Story 

visited me on the third of November last year? As soon as 

you left the guards said they had orders against it. Why is 

that? 75 

Choi said, 'That must have been Colonel Kim who gave 

those orders." 

The general was friendly but answered few questions and 
said nothing to my other demands-for exercise, for sun- 
baths, for something to read. I never learned what, if any- 
thing, he did to Choi, nor do I care, but he himself was 
demoted later for having failed to visit me, for having per- 
mitted such orders, and for my general treatment. I learned 
this months afterward, and it looked to me as if they were 
making old General Lee a goat for what undoubtedly was 
a general prisoner-of-war policy they now wished to re- 

But this day everything was just dandy. The general didn't 
approve of the thin cotton pad on my bed, so it was replaced 
by one much thicker. He ordered a sheet for me, so an aide 
brought in a strip of cotton cloth about twenty inches wide 
and seven and a half feet long. I never figured out what to 
do with it. To replace my summer-weight suit, the aide 
produced a pin-stripe woolen made in Eastern Germany and 
a new shirt of some material like nylon. The shirt was so 
small in the neck that I couldn't fasten the collar, and the 
sleeves caught me at about the elbows. So it was taken away 
again, but they forgot to bring a replacement. 

Finally Lee suggested that I have a drink with him. The 
aide brought in a half-pound of butter in a tin, sliced bread, 
dried devilfish, black fish eggs, and sake. We sat down, and 
the general began to ask questions: What did I think about 
the war? Did I think we had any chance at all? Then he 
launched into a long statement, the gist of which was that 

My Friend Wilfred Burchett 237 

we couldn't possibly win. The United Nations Forces had 
missed their opportunity when the North Koreans were at 
their lowest point; and having failed then, we never would 
be able to win. They had solved their principal problem, 
transportation, and I must know how important that was to 
an army. Now they were getting stronger all the time; and 
no matter what we did, we never could make it as bad again 
as tilings already had been. There was only one ultimate 
victor: the Inmun Gun, the People's Army. 

I didn't do much talking, because I was too busy eating. 
The butter was delicious, and this was the first sliced bread 
I had seen. The fish eggs and the devilfish also were wonder- 
ful. I don't care for sake, but I drank two small cups of that 
too. The general ate very little. When I had finished he in- 
dicated that I could keep what remainedbutter and sake. But 
after he left I learned that I had misunderstood him. He 
meant that I could have the sake; the aide came back and got 
the rest of the butter. 

Early the next morning, December 21, Captain Oh was 
back. Would I state that I had not been beaten? "It would be," 
he said, "a great favor to the general, who wants to be your 
friend and to treat you kindly; also a favor to me. The gen- 
eral may be punished unless you do this for him." 

I suppose that I'm a sucker for people who ask favors, 
but I was grateful to De Soon Yur, if not to the general. 
I mentioned De's kindness and demanded again that I be taken 
to a POW camp so that I could see how other prisoners were 
being treated. I said: "As senior prisoner of war" I knew 
from what the different interrogators had said that I was the 
senior "it is my duty to know how other prisoners are being 
treated and to see that their interests are protected, that they 
are being accorded the treatment provided by the Geneva Con- 

238 General Dean's Story 

vention." This was the same request I had made verbally many 
rimes, to which the answer had been that the question would 
have to be taken up with "higher authority." When "higher 
authority" got the request, if he ever did, he didn't bother to 
answer at all. 

That evening I began to understand some of the reasons 
for all the hoorah of the previous few hours. As I was getting 
ready for bed I heard people outside the house. When 1 
looked from my room into the guards' seven-by-seven quar- 
ters, a whole group was coming in, all but one either Chinese 
or Korean, many of them with cameras. At the head of the 
group was an Occidental, just removing his boots. He strolled 
across the room, which wasn't much of a stroll, grinned 
widely, and held out his hand. 

He said, "Hello, General Dean. I'm Wilfred Burchett, the 
correspondent for Le Soir, a French Left-wing newspaper." 

I shook hands with him. In fact, I was so glad to see another 
Caucasian that I felt like throwing my arms around him. I 
asked him his name a second time and added, "Are you 
American or British? " 

He said, "Fm an Australian, and Fve come to get your 
story of how you were captured. Won't you come in and 
sit down?" I was still standing in the door of my room, and 
he indicated a spot In the center of the floor in the guards' 

By that time there was a solid circle in the little room. All 
the Chinese and Korean newspapermen were getting their 
notebooks ready. I could hardly take my eyes off Burchett, 
a fellow Caucasian. You have no idea how important that 
can be after a year and a half. Burchett, Captain Oh, who 
had come along to interpret the conversation between Bur- 
chett and me for the benefit of the Oriental correspondents, 

My Friend Wilfred Burchett 239 

and I sat in the center, cross-legged like the rest, and directly 
above the onder, which was going full blast. The floor was 
so hot that we sat there only a moment before getting blankets 
to fold under us. Still we sweated profusely. 

Burchett said, "Now, to get started, I'd like to ask you 
what you know about the war situation." 

I said I knew very little about anything that had happened 
since July 1950. 

"Then I'll bring you up to date," he said. "I'll brief you." 
And to my amazement (after months of savoring the tiniest 
tidbit of news) he did just that, relating in a few minutes the 
whole course of the war, telling me how far United Nations 
Forces had driven north in 1950, how far south we had with- 
drawn, and how far north we had pushed the second time. 
He said that since the last of May 1951 the line had been 
relatively stable along the 3 8th parallel. The United Nations 
Forces were north of it on the east coast, and North Korean 
and Chinese Forces (which he always referred to in the first 
person, that is, "our" side or "we") held an approximately 
equal amount of territory south of the parallel on the west. 

The briefing was quite accurate, the only bias being in 
the method of telling, not in the facts, as I verified later. 

Burchett said that a Russian spokesman had suggested an 
armistice, that Kim II Sung had agreed to discuss it, and that 
after a great deal of delay United Nations Forces also had 
agreed, sending representatives to meet with those from 
North Korea. Then he went into detail about the various 
interruptions that ensued, but in each case intimated that the 
difficulties were due to the Americans. He also said that the 
first meeting place was to have been in Kaesong, but that 
American aircraft had violated the truce area, almost ending 
the negotiations. 

240 General Dean's Story 

He said that the two greatest stumbling blocks still re- 
maining were the questions of construction of airfields he 
thought that would be the toughest because the United States 
Air Force would not accede to construction of airfields in 
North Korea during the truce, but the People's Republic 
needed such fields for peaceful communications within its 
boundaries and the prisoner-of-war question. On this he 
thought there would be an understanding; but there was 
trouble in getting proper lists of names. The Americans, he 
said, had submitted a list, but it was unsatisfactory because 
it did not give the prisoner's organization or other details 
about him. But another list had been promised by December 
27, and he felt that a truce would be concluded at that time 
if no further incidents occurred. "If," he said, "your Air 
Force doesn't violate it and your people are able to prevent 
Syngman Rhee from taking some overt action. Syngman 
Rhee is dead set against any truce." 

He also said, "I'm certain that the American people want 
a truce, and that your Army and your Navy want a cease- 
fire; but your Air Force and Syngman Rhee do not want 
any cease-fire." 

He pulled a bottle of Gordon's gin from his pocket. "Well, 
that's that/' he said. "Now, I'd like to have your story of how 
you were captured. It's pretty warm in here, but ! don't 
think a little of this would hurt us." 

We had no cups, so the bottle was passed to me. I tried to 
pass it on, but they insisted that I take the first drink. I took 
a small one and passed the bottle to Burchett. Captain Oh, 
and a Chinese photographer, Chun, also drank. 

I started to tell him of my experiences from the time I 
had left Taejon on the evening of July 20 until I was cap- 
tured. Burchett asked me to go slowly. He was taking most 

My Friend Wilfred Burchett 241 

of it down in longhand, and everything I said had to be 
translated by Oh for the others. The whole business took 
nearly three hours, and by that time the four of us had 
finished the bottle of gin. 

Then Burchett said, "I have roughly copied notes on the 
letter you sent to your wife yesterday." 

I said, "Do you mean to say that letter was turned over to 
the newspapers?" 

"Well," he said, "I've seen the text." 

I said, "Please don't publish those in full. Those letters 
were personal, and they contained references to people other 
than my own family. I don't want to embarrass others." My 
letter had suggested financial aid to some families whom I 
believed to be orphaned. 

Burchett said, "Well, these letters have been given to the 
press, but I won't mention the things that you don't want 
mentioned." He scratched out portions of his notes although 
when the letters appeared, all over the world, they were car- 
ried in full. I believe Burchett was true to his word, but that 
Alan Winnington, a correspondent for the London Daily 
Worker, whom I did not know at this time, or others published 
the full texts. Our own press people picked them up, so Mil- 
dred and June read their letters before the originals were 

We then went to my room, and Burchett asked what ex- 
ercises I took. I showed him exercises I would like to have 
taken not the fifteen minutes I had been getting. I thought, 
"Well, if any of this gets published, perhaps I actually will 
get to do some of these things." I could see that the exercises 
met with his approval, and the photographer, Chun, took 
several pictures of me demonstrating. 

When Burchett said, "Do you do any walking?" I an- 

242 General Dean's Story 

swered, "No. IVe been trying to get regular walks and sun- 
baths, and I certainly would like permission for them. But 
I'm not even permitted to stand up. The only time I get to 
stand is when I go to the latrine/' 

He said, Tin certain that is not the will of the Supreme 
Command. That's not the policy of the Korean People's Re- 
public. There must be some mistake." 

I said, u Up until yesterday I wasn't permitted to have a 
pencil, and I'm afraid they'll take away the one I have now 
not later than tomorrow." 

He said, "How is your food?" 

I said, "I have no complaint about my food. IVe always 
eaten as well as rny guards. And while I have an interpreter 
here, Fd like to explain something to them. On November 
27 they bought ten eggs, and they gave them to me one at a 
time-but the guards had no eggs for themselves. I protested, 
but it didn't do any good. Fd like to have the interpreter 
explain that I don't want food better than they can get for 

He made no comment on this, but handed me a book. 
"Here's a book I'm leaving for you to read," he said. The 
volume was Pastofsky's Selected Short Stories, fiction pieces 
mainly concerned with rehabilitation of swamp and desert 
areas in the vicinity of the Black and Caspian Seas. 

I said, "Don't give me that, Mr. Burchett, because they 
won't permit me to have anything to read." 

"You may have this book," he said, "because Fve already 
secured permission from the commanding general for you to 
have it; and I'm certain they won't take your pencil away 
from you. I also want you to know that your name went in 
on the prisoner-of-war list which was submitted two days 

My Friend Wilfred Burchett 243 

ago. I've seen news Items telling of your wife's joy." 

I said, "Were my son and daughter mentioned?" 

"Yes," he said, "your daughter was mentioned, and I under- 
stand that she Is with your wife." 

I said I was very much concerned about my son Bill, be- 
cause I still didn't know whether he'd succeeded In passing 
requirements for entering West Point. 

Again Burchett nodded. "Fm sure he's in the Academy," he 
said. "I have a recollection of a press association item mention- 
ing him as being a cadet." 

He asked me what I thought about the Korean type of 
food, and I said I had reached a point at which I really enjoyed 
both rice and kimchee, although I never thought I'd be able 
to eat the latter. 

Burchett said, "Well, the first thing I'll do when I get 
back [to Kaesong or Panmunjom] will be to write a personal 
letter to your wife and send it through the newspaper people 
on the other side. I'll tell her I've seen you, that you're well, 
and that she should learn to cook rice as the Orientals do, 
and to make kimchee, so that you'll have the food you desire 
when you return." 

I told him I appreciated his offer of the letter and hoped 
that he would send it, but not to bother about the cooking 
Instructions. He did send a letter, and It reached my wife on 
her birthday, only two days later. 

The interview with Burchett went on until well after 
midnight, with none of the other reporters breaking In on 
his questioning. Then the photographers went to work, tak- 
ing pictures of Burchett and me sitting together on the floor, 
of my exercises, and many other poses. They all left a little 
before dawn. 

244 General Dean's Story 

There is one thing I should make absolutely clear at this 
point. The final twenty months of my captivity in North 
Korea were in sharp contrast to the first sixteen; and I'm 
convinced that Burchett, deliberately or otherwise, was prin- 
cipally responsible for the change. He is widely known, and 
opinions about him vary, but this man made nearly two 
years of my life livable, by treating me as a human being 
when I was out of the habit of being so treated, and by caus- 
ing my North Korean captors to reverse their whole policy 
toward me. Food became more plentiful and much better, I 
kept the all-important writing materials, mail began to come 
through, and the petty restrictions not being able to stand, 
not being allowed to lie down in the daytime vanished grad- 
ually. I cannot honestly complain about the major points of 
my personal treatment after that day. So I don't think it's sur- 
prising that I like Burchett and am grateful to him. I'm also 
very sorry that he is where he is and sees things as he appar- 
ently does. In a couple of subsequent meetings I came to know 
a little more about him, but never arrived at any real explana- 
tion either for his choice of the Communist side in this war or 
for his special kindness to me. 

The basic details of his story are simple enough. Burchett 
worked for British newspapers prior to World War II, and 
as representative of a large London newspaper in the Pacific 
War Theater he became known to many American war cor- 
respondents, as well as to Army and Navy officers. He worked 
almost entirely with United States troops and naval units 
and shared correspondents' quarters and privileges at Hono- 
lulu, Guam, and many other spots during the westward 
progress of that war. His reputation for competence was high, 
and newspapermen who worked with him have told me that 
they knew of no special political leanings he had at that time. 

My Friend Wilfred Burchett 245 

But as that war ended the little Australian with the receding 
hairline somehow seemed to get out of gear with the free 
world. He was in Europe for some years between the wars, 
changed employers a time or two, was divorced from his 
British wife, then changed sides entirely, 

He arrived in Korea during the early part of the North 
Korean movement to the south, but sent no dispatches that 
aroused world interest until he suddenly appeared with the 
Communist negotiators early in the truce talks. From then 
on he was used as an unofficial courier and news source on 
several special affairs American newsmen's attempts to get 
in touch with Frank Noel, an Associated Press photographer 
captured while working with the X Corps, messages sent to 
me, and other similar matters. 

His visit to me was so exciting that I did not think too 
much about why he was there. I noticed his use of Communist 
terminology "stubbornness of the Americans," "failure of 
the United Nations," "Comrade Captain," and his references 
to Kim II Sung as the Supreme Commander with built-in 
capitals but these were only matters of phraseology. In later 
meetings he rarely referred to politics and talked about 
American safety razors the blades, he thought, were not as 
good as they used to be and about his family. He said his 
present wife was a Bohemian girl from one of the "Eastern 
People's Democracies"; and in 1953 he told me of the birth 
of a son in Peiping. He also spoke often of his former wife and 
a fourteen-year-old son, still living in England. 

When Captain Oh came to see me the next day he was 
all friendliness. He explained that there had been a special 
reason for General Lee's visit to me on December 20 that 
was Stalin's birthday, and cause for a celebration. But there 

246 General Dean's Story 

were to be others, specifically, one on my wife's birthday, 
December 23, a date I had mentioned in talking to the general. 
I had no way of knowing it, but this was the beginning of 
a series of celebrations on virtually every conceivable oc- 
casion, which continued during the rest of my captivity. 

I went from the status of being ignored to the state of 
being fetedor celebrated with in one big jump, and I never 
quite got used to the idea. Nor can I give any explanation of 
why my treatment improved so much, that of other prisoners 
very little or not at all. I believe now that I may actually have 
been, as my captors claimed, the only American in the ex- 
clusive custody of the Koreans, certainly the only one under 
that particular administration. 

I hate the thought and always will that I was well treated 
while others suffered; and there is very little satisfaction in 
the fact that I didn't know about it, and could not have 
done anything if I had. I should have been able to represent 
other prisoners and do something about their treatment; but 
I was not able to, and did not. So while the welcome I 
received when I finally got home was wonderful and heart- 
warming, in some ways it also was a little hard to take. I 
wish those other soldiers, thousands of them, could have 
shared it much more than they did. 

Captain Oh's prospectus of the first celebration on my new 
schedule turned out to be a little overenthusiastic. The gen- 
eral didn't show up. But Oh did, bringing more fish eggs, both 
black and red, and dried devilfish. He and the guards and I 
ate it all, and finished the half-pint of sake remaining from 
Stalin's celebration. 

Incidentally I think I should make myself clear about food 
items, in order to avoid being taken for a gourmand. When 
I speak of having had fish eggs or meat or fish, I do not mean 

My Friend Wilfred Burchett 247 

such quantities as we consider normal in the United States. 
When an American housewife says, "I'm going to have roast 
beef tonight/' she thinks of a roast as four pounds or more, 
roughly a pound of meat for each adult. When a Korean 
says, "What shall we have for dinner?" the first answer is 
always pop (cooked rice); if they're especially hard up, pop 
and cho (maize), or pop and susu (millet). There may be 
a side dish, such as kimchee or garlic tops, either to put over 
the rice or to eat separately, and a small bowl of watery 
soup. But kogi (meat) or moor-kogi (fish literally, water 
meat) is something special. That's an appetizer, nothing more. 
Fish is served in less quantity than you would expect in an 
ordinary shrimp salad; meat may be three or four pieces, 
each the size of a sugar cube. If beef, it's always grisde; if 
pork, fat. 

Our diet during early 1952 included one fish normally 
used as a fertilizer, something like a very small herring; and 
in the spring the real delicacy was the root of the Chinese 
bellflower, toiv-raw-gee. About this they even have a song: 
"Tow-raw-gee, why do you grow so far up the mountains?" 
Occasionally we got tree mushrooms, which I have not identi- 
fied in the growing state. 

At the December 23 dinner Captain Oh hoped that I had 
noticed the improving food. "From now on," he said, "you're 
going to have the same food that Korean generals have. 
You're to have an egg every day, and you'll get only polished 

I argued with him about this, saying that I preferred the 
unpolished variety because it had more food value but he 
had a point to worry American dietitians. He said, "No, 
that's not true, because polished rice is more palatable. You 
therefore eat more of it, which more than compensates for 

248 General Dean's Story 

the extra food value which might be lost in the polishing/' 
I asked him, "Do Korean generals eat better than enlisted 


"Yes," he said, "because they have greater responsibilities. 
So they must eat better in order to fulfill those responsibil- 


I said, "Well, that shouldn't apply to a prisoner of war, 
because my only responsibility is to keep alive and well and 
not to cooperate with my captors." 

Nevertheless I got polished rice much of the time there- 
after, and eggs from time to time. These were served 
raw, broken over a bowl of rice. My interest in them waned 
gradually and disappeared almost entirely on the day I broke 
one neatly-and out into my rice dropped a fully formed 

On the evening of December 23 I had a visit from another 
journalist, a slightly put-out individual named Liu, who 
arrived in some temper over the fact that Burchett had al- 
ready interviewed me. Like most of the Oriental press people 
who came to see me, he was accompanied by a retinue- 
photographers, note bearers, pencil bearers, and just plain 
ordinary helperswho listened in to the conversation. 

Liu said he represented the "press of the Chinese People's 
Republic," so I assumed he was some sort of press-association 
man. His attitude was definitely hostile, and I never bothered 
to find out much more about him. He was less interested in the 
details of my capture, but wanted to know why I was sur- 
prised that I had not been cruelly treated by the North 

To this loaded question I responded that my answer would 
have to depend on what he meant by "cruelly treated/' I 
had not been tortured but had been threatened with it, in 

My Friend Wilfred Burchett 249 

that first month, and my treatment hadn't been exactly gentle 
under Colonel Kim's ministrations. 

He and Captain Oh, who again was interpreting, brushed 
right past that, changing the subject to the old familiar ques- 
tion: What hope did Americans think we had of winning? 

To annoy him I changed my answer. I said it was just a 
matter of time until we'd sweep the Korean peninsula clean. 
I said I had not the slightest doubt of that which brought on 
a long statement. 

This was an easy interview because so much of the time all I 
had to do was listen to what the journalist thought, without 
bothering to tell him what I thought. This was especially 
easy because he had such an unpleasant manner that I resented 
what questions he did ask. 

The interview closed with my question: Was he related to 
the man who had been Chinese (Nationalist) ambassador to 
Korea in the pre-war period? This wasn't so much to get 
information as to annoy him, which it did. 

He said, "No. Unfortunately we have the same name, but 
that's like Smith in America. I know Mr. Liu and I'm glad 
we're not related, because I would kill him if I could. He's 
an enemy of the Chinese People's Republic." 

There was one curious aftermath to this interview. I saw 
Liu once again, in June 1953, and he was a changed man, 
affable, pleasant, soft-spoken, and personable. I think he must 
have gone to a male charm school in the meantime. 

Burchett's visit and the attention given me by officers of 
rank had impressed my guards, who treated me with new 
respect thereafter. Captain Oh told me on December 23 
that hereafter I could exercise all I wished, and the guards 
complied, more or less. I took more calisthenics in the morn- 
ings, and, irregularly, was allowed to walk the twelve-yard 

250 General Dean's Story 

path, screened on both sides, between the house and the 
latrine. This was quite steep, with a ten-foot drop in the 
twelve yards, and some steps; in this frigid weather it was 
also slippery. On the first day that I was allowed to walk 
I decided to cover a mile and a half and had it all divided 
mentally into the necessary number of round trips. But my 
legs weren't equal to it. On the seventy-fourth single trip 
they gave out suddenly and I fell, cutting my hand on the 
frozen ground. It was only a minor abrasion, but it bled 
profusely in the cold air. De Soon Yur was so concerned 
about it-insisting that I go inside the house immediately and 
wash an extra time that day-that I feared he wouldn't let me 
walk again. But things really had changed, and the walking 
went on, except when the guards, who hated the cold, refused 
to let me. Some days they would not let me go out at all. 
Most of them objected to the length of my walks and wanted 
to know repeatedly how many trips I had made. I cheated 
a little, counting round trips as singles, and thus kept down 
the total count their measure of when it was time to go back 
inside. By this system I sometimes got in a hundred round 
trips. The guard shivered but never bothered to keep count 

On January 2, 1952, 1 had confirmation of the fact that my 
family really did know I was alive. Captain Oh brought 
copies of three telegrams, dispatched via United Nations 
newspaper correspondents, and handed by them to Communist 
functionaries at the truce talks, then passed north to me. My 
mother had wired, "It's a miracle"; my wife, "It seems like 
a dream"; and my daughter, "You have a husky grandson, 
born March 24, 1951." 


Mail, Gookg, ana Movies 

Burchett's visit started a parade of news correspondents to 
my little castle on the hillside. The third and to me the most 
important was LI Heng Peng, a Chinese, who arrived on 
January 16 with twenty-four wonderful letters for me. One 
was from uiy wife, written on December 27; two from my 
mother; five from friends; two from relatives of former 
members of my division who now were listed as missing in 
action, asking if I had any word of these men; one from a 
cheerful teen-ager who sent me although I did not know 
her the latest news on the Davis Cup tennis matches, along 
with her good wishes; and the rest from press and radio 
representatives, all interested in getting my story. Several of 
the correspondents had accompanied the 24th Division in 
the early days of the Korean war or were acquaintances from 
Japan. This was about the average break-down for mail I 
received thereafter, although both the size of the deliveries 
and their frequency varied widely. Once afterward I was five 
months without mail, and my family went from February 
until October of 1952 without hearing directly from me. 

Whenever I received mail from relatives of missing soldiers 
I forwarded the names to the commandant of POW camps. 
I never received any acknowledgment, so have no way of 


252 General Dean's Story 

knowing whether the demands for information even were 


All told, I received three hundred and eighteen letters and 
two magazines, mailed on the United Nations side of the 
lines. Both the magazines, received May 10, 1953, curiously 
enough, contained definitely anti-Communist articles. Of the 
letters I wrote to my family, only about fifteen per cent 
were delivered. Anyone watching the way Communist mails 
operateor, rather, fail to operate would score this as about 
par for the course. Letters simply didn't mean anything to 
the people around me; and sometimes they would let their 
own letters lie around for a week after writing them. I was 
told that an officer had to make a special trip from Pyongyang 
to Panmunjom every time I gave them letters to be mailed; 
and, northbound, the mail might stall anywhere. Once Captain 
Oh rode a bicycle all the way into Pyongyang, at least ten 
miles, to get mail for me; and another time De Soon Yur 
walked several miles, missing his dinner, so that I could have 
mail the same day it arrived in the nearest village. In spite 
of the casualness of handling, the Koreans were highly par- 
ticular about the mail's appearance. I had to rewrite letters 
because my script crossed a red margin on some sheets of 
paper, and once my outgoing mail was sent all the way back 
from Pyongyang because my homemade envelopes folded 
sheets of paper stuck together with rice paste were too un- 
tidy for somebody's taste. 

Strange things happen to generals. During World War II 
I'm a little ashamed to admit this I just ignored the press, 
My division had no public information officer, and when war 
correspondents visited us I usually tried to arrange a quick 
trip to a hot part of the front so they'd go away just as 
quickly. The foreign press in Korea, when I was military 

Mail, Books, and Movies 253 

governor, had been small, so I had little additional contact; 
and In the first days of this war I'd been too busy to pay 
much attention to the newspapermen. 

Now, when my mail started coming through, I was very 
much aware of not to say dependent on the correspondents 
at Panmunjom, as well as the Communist press men I saw. 
These Panmunjom people were my most regular contact with 
the outside world, and not only wrote letters of their own 
and forwarded messages from my family, but also did their 
best to ease the last months of my captivity. One news service 
sent through a whole set of photographs of my home and 
my wife for me; another provided a very badly needed pen 
and pencil set. Robert Tuckman, Howard Handleman, Robert 
Vermillion, Dave Cicero, John Rich, and others corre- 
spondents all became dependable friends in those months. 

LI Heng Peng brought a tape recorder with him, to which 
he was very anxious that I should tell my whole story, for 
an American radio chain. When I refused, fearing that this 
would open the door to all sorts of Communist interviews 
and might even be used on the Communist radio, he was 
very unhappy. Li may have been a Communist, but you 
never saw a capitalist salesman more unhappy at losing a 
sale. I often wondered what he had been offered by the 
radio people to get that interview, and how they had planned 
to make payment. 

Incidentally Li was looking after my interests too. He 
said, "I'll help you prepare your story. You don't want to tell 
too much, or you won't be able to sell your story when you 
get back to the United States; but you want to say enough 
so that they will know it really is you, and that you're safe." 

I told him that I wouldn't make the tape and that I was 

254 General Dean's Story 

astonished at the publicity already given to me. I said, "I'm 
no hero, and the publicity is embarrassing. The sooner it dies 
down, the happier I'll be. I'm concerned only that my family 
should know that I am alive. I'm ashamed of being a prisoner; 
and as far as other people are concerned, I'm sure a two- 
headed calf will be born pretty soon, and they'll forget 
about me. The sooner, the better." 

Li spent a night and a day at the housepartly because 
there was an exceptionally heavy air attack, I think by 6-295, 
in the Pyongyang area. During that time he assured me that 
one of my fears was unjustified. He had just come, he said, 
from a POW camp (not identified definitely), and I need 
have no worry about the American soldiers there. He said 
he had seen Frank Noel, the Associated Press photographer 
who was a prisoner, and told me Noel had been awarded a 
Pulitzer Prize for photos made in the prison camp. Li said 
he himself had been at the camp for some time, living in a 
little house nearby, to which prisoners were permitted to 
come to use his record player. He also described a Christmas 
celebration in which prisoners had exchanged gifts and even 
had a Santa Glaus to add some gaiety to the holiday. 

I suppose it would have made no difference in any event, 
but for some reason I believed Li. He spoke excellent English, 
said that both his father and his uncle had been graduated 
from the Vanderbilt Medical School, and generally told a 
straight story. 

As yet I haven't talked to anyone who was at that POW 
camp or saw him, so still don't know how much truth there 
was in his story, whether the prisoners allowed to go to his 
house were the so-called "progressives," or whether the whole 
thing was a fabrication. At the time he convinced me. I 

Mall, Books, and Movies 255 

thought, "My goodness, those lucky devils. My fears were all 
groundless. They're having it soft." 

I didn't have a chance to find out just how far from the 
truth this was until I was freed in 1953. 

Li was a pleasant visitor, and he did his best to make him- 
self liked. His first gift to me was four American chocolate 
bars which the guards enjoyed as much as I did; and he 
also presented me with a first issue of an English-language 
magazine, China Reconstructs, printed January i, 1952, in 
which he had written two of the unsigned articles one 
called "Private Enterprise in New China," the other, "Women 
in Industry." The magazine was carefully put together, and 
the stories had a convincing tone. According to them, the 
Chinese People's Republic had already achieved a heaven- 
like existence, with everybody happy, everybody well edu- 
cated, no beggars, no thieves, and no unemployment. It was 
just wonderful. But of course, the editors couldn't let it go 
at that. They also had to insert pages vilifying the United 
States Americans had exploited the Chinese, were responsible 
for most of old China's troubles, had enslaved orphans, ad 
infinitum, ad nauseam. The propaganda value, if any, was 
dissipated. I can't say I was thoroughly bored reading mat- 
ter was at so much of a premium that nothing would have 
bored mebut neither was I convinced. 

During the next year and a half I acquired quite a 
library. Titles in and out of it included this magazine; the 
short-story collection Burchett had given me; The History of 
the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, which I reread 
several times; Anti-Duhring, a text in which Engels restated 
and clarified much of Marxist doctrine; two issues of the 
magazine Soviet Literature; a book including all of Stalin's 

256 General Dean's Story 

Orders of the Day, issued on special occasions during World 
War II; another text, Stalin as a Military Leader, in which 
I discovered that Stalin had invented all the theories of war- 
fare which in my abysmal ignorance I formerly had credited 
to Hannibal, Napoleon, or von Moltke, but which, to be 
honest, also included some very straight thinking about mod- 
ern campaigning. If Stalin actually was the father of these 
ideas about directing campaigns through territory where the 
civil population was friendly, as this book claimed, my respect 
for him as a military leader was increased, in spite of the book's 

Other titles included Stalin's own Lessons in Leninism; 
Gentlemen of Japan, by Havens; Dollar Diploinacy, pub- 
lished in 1925; Jack London's Love of Life; copies of Masses 
and Mainstream, an American Communist periodical; a British 
Labour party paper so dull that I couldn't read it, starved as 
I was for reading; and various copies of the London Daily 
Worker not so dull, but guaranteed to make you mad at 
least twice on every page, although from it I could glean 
a little world news under the propaganda. The non-propa- 
ganda reading matter came from Burchett and the rest from 
Captain Oh. Much of the Communist doctrine was heavy 
going, but I'm glad I read all of it. At least I know now what 
theories we're fighting, as well as what men. 

Li also presented me with his own blank notebook, ap- 
parently issued by the Chinese Army for an expense account 
record, which I used frequently and still have. And as the 
crowning gift he produced a bottle of American bourbon. 
I don't know what small bit of information had led to the 
idea that I was an alcoholic, but from the time Burchett 
visited rne every Communist who wished to be nice to me 
produced a bottle of something to drink. At various times 

Mall, Books, and Movies 257 

I had gin, U. S. bourbon, Canadian bourbon, and almost end- 
less gifts of sake, ginseng, and vodka. 

Li asked me whether my treatment in prison had always 
been kind, and I told him, "No. It's becoming more consider- 
ate all the time, and since Mr. Burchett's visit it has become 
exceedingly kind but that's a one~hundred-and-eighty-de- 
gree turn from what it was before. During the interrogation 
in September of last year It was a little tough." I repeated to 
him a story told to me by a Hollander who had been captured 
in the Dutch East Indies. The man had told me he never 
had things really bad until Koreans became his guards. He 
had said, "They're sadistic." 

Captain Oh was around during Li's stay not to Interpret, 
but perhaps just to listen in on what we said to each other. 
He overheard part of this and really jumped me for saying 

For once, I argued with him. I said, "Well, it's true. Maybe 
you can defend yourselves by saying that you were so fear- 
ful of the Japanese that you overdid your job to prove your 
faithfulness to your masters. But regardless of the reason, 
I've heard from many former prisoners that their Korean 
guards were more cruel than the Japanese as much as you 
hate the Japanese." 

Oh finally admitted this was true but tried to make a 
point that the Koreans are not naturally cruel. He said, "The 
Koreans aren't naturally cruel. They're kind and humane 
at heart." 

Well, that was his opinion. 

Perhaps the talk did have some effect. Li had brought 
along a photographer, and on the second day of his visit 
wanted photos of me playing chong-gun and getting my out- 
door exercise. The guards produced a chong-gun board, and 

258 General Dean's Story 

I thought this might mean the beginning of more play for me, 

but it was taken away immediately afterward. 

When the outdoor pictures were being taken I stumbled 
and staggered as I walked up and down that steep path. 
Captain Oh said, "What's the matter with you? You're 
awfully weak. Aren't you getting your walking daily?" 

I told him that it had been sporadic. "One day they'll let 
me walk the round-trip a hundred times, and then they'll 
miss for several days." 

Immediately he jumped on the guards, spouting Korean 
at them in a stream and thereafter I had no more trouble. I 
usually got in about three miles a day, up and down that path. 

After Li's visit my social life settled down, except for 
special celebrations. Li had refused to drink any of the whisky 
he brought, so I saved it and told Oh who apparently was 
in charge of me now to come by, and we'd have a drink 
before dinner. 

I had some education still coming mainly about drinking. 
Oh appeared a night or so later, bringing a large Chinese 
cup and his idea of a small drink before dinner was to see 
how rapidly we could drink the bottle. This was true of any 
state occasion, and obviously this evening was such a cele- 
brationthe occasion being that we had a bottle to drink. 
We celebrated the end of Old Bourbon, finishing him off 
in quick order. 

The next occasion came in February. Tal, the civilian 
interpreter, showed up on the sixth, bringing twenty-four 
more wonderful letters, including word from my wife and 
my daughter and letters from Clarke and Bissett, each of 
whom assured me I could quit worrying he was not dead. 

Two days later Tal was back, this time to join me in 
celebrating Inmun Gun Day, the anniversary of the formation 

Mall, Books, and Movies 259 

of the North Korean Army, with the help of a bottle of sake. 
This called for toasts. The guards, Tal, and I drank toasts 
like crazy. Mine was, "May the Inmun Gun never fight again 
and may it suffer no defeats other than at the hands of the 
United States." Even though this was translated (I have no 
way of telling how well), they drank to it cheerfully. At 
other parties I proposed toasts to the early victory of the 
United Nations, and my Communist guards drank them down. 
So, though I may have lifted my glass to some strange things 
in Korean, at least we were even. 

Often sake or vodka just appeared, with special food but 
no other guests, and it became obvious that these parries 
were to be regular affairs. I began a campaign to try to get 
somebody drunk preferably the guards. I thought if I ever 
succeeded, that would be a fine time to take off for the 
south but I never did. De Soon Yur claimed that liquor made 
him ill and never drank, and the guard on duty always 
limited himself to a single small glass of sake. 

The only success I had was with one small fellow, a new 
guard who had just replaced somebody who had gone off to 
officers' school or had been discharged. Almost all my guards 
were husky types, but this one was a thin, long-haired little 
character, slightly on the pasty-faced side. At this celebration 
he was the one delegated to drink with me, while the others 
stayed sober. The liquor was sake, and the supply far too 
plentiful for my liking. But by this time I had discovered 
that the proper thing was for me to do the pouring. Thus 
I could get two or three drinks into a guard while taking 
only one myself. 

I poured this fellow a glass, and to my delight he drank it 
straight down. I thought, "Oh-oh, I've found one Korean 
with a hollow leg. We'll just see . . ." 

260 General Dean's Story 

I poured another, and he drank It just as fast. A third glass 
also went down at full speed. 

In about fifteen minutes I was extremely sorry. When I 
had been in the Requirements Division of the Ground Forces, 
in Washington, D. C, one of our jobs had been the prepara- 
tion of training manuals. We tried very hard to write a 
manual to fit almost every military situation. But there in 
Korea I realized how badly we had failed. To my knowledge, 
there is no U. S. Army manual that says what to do when 
having drinks with a Korean sergeant who gets drank easily, 
then turns queer as a three-dollar bill and tries to hug and 
kiss you. 

What I did do was to pour him two or three more drinks, 
just as fast as possible while dodging. Then he passed out, 
fortunately, and I poured the rest of the sake through a 
crack in the floor. 

On April 5 Alan Winnington, the only Caucasian besides 
Burchett to whom I talked in three years, appeared in the 
early morning. He was pleasant, but the interview was not 
a great success. He was suffering acutely from dysentery, 
which was still plaguing me too. Again photographs were 
taken; and again props were brought in this time a rough 
wooden bench on which to sit. I enjoyed every minute of 
this sitting, not having seen anything resembling a chair for 
a year and a half; but as soon as the photos were finished the 
bench was taken away, and I saw no more Western-style 
furniture until the middle of 1953. 

Wilmington interested me less than Burchett, perhaps for 
the selfish reason that he did nothing about my situation ex- 
cept bring another bottle of whisky, which I really didn't 
want. But like Burchett, he did a straight reporting job and 
tried to sell me no propaganda. He didn't explain how a 

Mail, Books, and Movies 261 

British national came to be operating with Communist troops. 

Earlier, International News Photos had sent through Pan- 
munjom a set of twenty-seven photos of my wife and the 
house she had just bought in Berkeley. Since we had never 
owned a home before, I naturally was tremendously inter- 
ested and spent hours trying to figure out a floor plan from 
the pictures, and to identify such objects as a square chest 
in the living room. This I had to assume was a television set, 
although I'd never seen one. 

The guards also were vitally interested, especially in one 
of Mildred leaning against the TV set, with a figurine of a 
Japanese fisherman visible on a shelf behind her. They wanted 
to know her age and obviously thought I was lying when I 
traitorously told them how old she wasbut most of all they 
wanted to know, "Who is the fisherman?" Various sug- 
gestions were made a household god, a national hero. The 
idea of having a statuette just for decoration was too much 
for our two languages without translation. I finally said, 
"HarabacbieF'litzrally, my grandfather and everybody was 
satisfied. Incidentally, those pictures did more to impress my 
guards than anything else. When they saw how big my jeep 
(house) was, they thought I must, after all, be somebody of 

In May we moved across the valley to a more traditional 
Korean structure about the same size as the hillside house, 
but one which Captain Oh claimed would be less damp. For 
me, this move meant principally a larger spot in which to 
do my daily walking, and the added interest of Chinese 
troops manning positions nearby. They indulged in song 
sessions and competed with the Koreans in trying to get 
interrogation teams to downed United Nations fliers first. 
But for the guards the move meant more walking to get 

262 General Dean's Story 

their food. After having to cross the valley all winter to an 

old mess hall, they had just acquired a new food facility a 

few yards from the hillside house. Now they had to cross 

the valley, the other way, to eat and bring back my food to 


We spent a rather lazy summer. In mid- June, Oh insisted 
that I needed a record-player and subsequently produced an 
old American wind-up phonograph, even though I said I 
wasn't especially interested. It was a real relic, and the ten rec- 
ords that came with it were worn almost smooth perhaps 
because the guards resharpened the needle by rubbing it on a 
rock. One record had "Camptown Races" on one side and 
"My Old Kentucky Home" on the other; two Hawaiian 
pieces were on another record; and the rest were mostly 
Korean songs. 

I could have done without this entirely, but De Soon Yur 
liked it a lot. He was the one who always wound and 
operated it, playing "Old Kentucky Home" first, then the 
Korean numbers he really wished to hear and learn. 

I decided once to play the machine myself, but the guard 
on duty complained violently, saying "De" several times. 
I think De Soon Yur probably had told them that no one else 
was to play it, in order to avoid having it going all the time. 

I hadn't really cared before, but this annoyed me. When 
Captain Oh showed up again I demanded, "Who is this 
record-player for, De or me?" 

He said, "You," and I explained that I wasn't allowed to 
play it. Oh thereupon made it loudly clear to everybody 
that this was my machine and I could play it when I liked. 

But I can be ornery too. After I got permission I never 
played that thing again. 

The only other real breaks in the summer were three movie 

Mail, Books, and Movies 263 

showings especially arranged for me in a newly built "cultural 
hall" near the old hillside house. These were The Fall of 
Berlin, a fictionalized account of Russian World War II 
heroism; The International Youth Congress, a documentary 
that spent much of its footage on certain American youths 
talking about the decline of capitalism and about world 
peace under the leadership of the Soviet; and a film cele- 
brating the anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's 
Army over the Nationalists. This featured a lot of battles 
which seemed to consist mostly of mass charges, and a Peiping 
parade which consisted entirely of American trucks, tanks, 
and howitzers, now in the possession of the Communists. I 
can't speak authoritatively about the endings of any of these 
movies because in no instance did the electric power hold 
out for the full showing. That was a busy summer for our 
bombers, and the North Korean power system just wasn't 
up to par. 

At one of the showings Major Kim went along with 
Captain Oh and me, and afterward came to the house for 
another celebration. He himself had very little to celebrate. 
His family had been living near the east coast in an area 
overrun by South Korean troops. His six-year-old son, meet- 
ing the newcomers, happily told them that his father too was 
a soldier, then just as happily led them to his home when 
they expressed interest. Kim's wife, who had just joined him 
this summer, was now a bed-ridden cripple, and her parents 
were dead. But Kim remained friendly to me and only 
shrugged at his family's misfortune. He said, "That is war," 
and then no more about it. 

In the winter of 1951-52 my ear had become infected and 
had started to drain. The guards had brought in a very young 
Army doctor, who put some gauze in my ear and, I thought, 

264 General Dean's Story 

took it all out again at the same time he was shooting me 
in the hip with some penicillin that De had obtained. Me 
left what was undoubtedly the dullest hypodermic needle 
in the world, and De continued to give me a shot every three 
hours until I neither could sit down nor move my arms with- 
out extreme pain. Nor was I made much happier by the rudi- 
mentary sterilization of the needle or the fact that the 
penicillin was mixed with ordinary drinking water from the 
household bucket. That penicillin, it seemed to me, lasted 

When the ear started to drain again I didn't let the guards 
know about it, for fear of getting more treatment. In Tokyo 
in the autumn of 1953, an Army ear specialist removed from 
my ear some of the gauze that had been put into itand 
overlooked in December 1951. He said I was lucky still to 
have an ear, and I believe him. 

But in the summer of 1952 this same doctor was called 
again when I developed an infected eye. He was willing to 
step aside and I was willing to have him do so when Captain 
Oh brought a civilian eye specialist from Pyongyang. He 
cured the infection promptly, but had to be dissuaded from 
operating on me to remove a ptyergium. He assured me that 
he was the best eye specialist in the Orient and had removed 
many such growths, but I finally managed to convince him I 
could get along with it just dandy until I got back to the 
United States. This has been removed since my return, and I 
still have my eyesight. But for a while there in 1952 I wouldn't 
have given much for my chances of keeping it. 

My personal company had changed frequently during the 
previous months, but I came to know some of the men well 
De Han Gool had lived in Kaesong when American troops 
had an outpost there in the prewar days and delighted in 

Mail, Books, and Movies 265 

telling me about his contacts with them. He eventually went 
on to school and received a commission. 

Kong, the tubercular, was discharged for health reasons, 
as was Um, a guard I never had liked. Pack went on to a 
commission, as did nearly every other member of the guard 
who stayed in the Army. I felt like a prep school for officers' 
training. De Soon Yur was the exception, and I was told 
by Captain Oh that he had refused to go, preferring to stay 
with me. 

The habits of a lifetime are hard to break, and that was 
a summer when I was both bored and unsanguine. I had 
no real faith that there would be either an early peace or 
an exchange of prisoners, and reading material was short. I 
was badly in need of something to do, so I tried to make an 
officer out of De Soon Yur. I gave him any number of sales 
talks, which may or may not have been effective, considering 
the few words we knew of each other's language. When he 
was due to make a trip to Pyongyang, I'd encourage him to 
shine the buttons on his uniform. This helped his appearance 
and pleased him mightily. 

About the same timeI must be vague on details about 
this and a few other matters in order to avoid hurting people 
who helped me in North Korea and still are there I began 
to get suggestions that perhaps I was in the wrong army any- 
how. It was a long campaign, which started with happy 
little thoughts that I should write to congressmen, telling them 
to have the war stopped, then shifted to my own responsibil- 
ities. The gist of these veiled hints was: "A man of your 
talents shouldn't be wasting his time as a prisoner. You 
should do something for mankind and become a true interna- 
tionalist. If you're interested, it wouldn't be at all difficult. 
You could have a division in the Inmun Gun, or perhaps even 

266 General Dean's Story 

command a corps. Or, if you're weary of fighting, perhaps 
a political position. Song Ho (whom I had known as head 
of the South Korean constabulary) has already had his gen- 
eral's stars pinned on by Kim II Sung himself. You could 
have the same and your family could live comfortably in 
Peiping, where life is very good, and you could see them 
often." I can't be more specific than this, but I'm convinced 
that the repeated offer had some substantial basis but of 
course, I had to go and spoil it. When somebody asked me 
what I intended to do for the sake of peace when I got home, 
I said, "I'll try to build up the military unit to which I am 
assigned in such a manner that it will impress any would-be 
aggressors." I don't think that's what my questioner had in 
mind; after that, not too much more was said to me about a 
corps in the Communist Army. 

I had another attack of malaria early that summer, and it 
left me weak and debilitated. Shortly after the attack we 
walked one night to see one of the three movies I mentioned, 
and I found I had night blindness. I tripped in the smallest 
holes and fell down a couple of times. But I didn't fall far. 
Guards walking with nie held my arms, to my considerable 
annoyance although Captain Oh said they were just hanging 
on to support me. But I had a feeling they thought I might 
take off in the dark if I ever got a chance. Even more annoy- 
ing was the fact that on another trip to the movies this in 
a jeep a guard held on to me all through the ride. Again the 
story relayed by Oh was that they were afraid I would fall 
out. I told him that, after all, I had ridden in a jeep a few 
times before and knew how to hang on, but the guard's clutch 
wasn't relaxed until we were safely in the cultural hall. 

Except for bombing, the war was not bothering the people 
around me that summer. Food continued to improve, for me 

Mail, Books, and Movies 267 

and for my guards, and everyone seemed relaxed. On May i 
my guards except the duty man went off to a big celebra- 
tion in Pyongyang. De Han Gool was in some sort of a show, 
wearing a fake beard; Pak (the little one) played in a soccer 
match; and Big Pak, a newcomer who had been a guerrilla in 
South Korea before the war, got to wrestle. I was told there 
was also a huge political meeting in an underground audi- 
torium, which would seat three thousand people, near Lib- 
eration Park. 

The wives of two of the guards one of them somehow 
having made her way from South Koreamoved into the 
little house near ours and immediately started making a gar- 
den and fixing up the shanty. The two husbands helped occa- 
sionally; and at least once took their wives for an evening 
walk a rare treat for a Korean woman but succeeded only 
in getting themselves picked up by a Chinese patrol because 
they were wearing only bits and pieces of uniforms. The two 
women were released by the Chinese, but Captain Oh had to 
make a major effort to get the two men freed. The Chinese 
were sure they were infiltrators or spies. 

I asked De Soon Yur, "Why don't you bring your wife up 
here from Haeju, like the others?" 

He said, "I have no wife.' 7 She had been killed months 
before in a direct hit on an air-raid shelter, but he had not 
bothered to mention the loss to me. 

One thing about that summer I definitely didn't like. It 
looked to me as if United Nations planes had lost daylight 
control of the air over Pyongyang. I saw Communist jets 
overhead more than I saw our own, and there were quite a 
number of high-altitude dogfights. Once in August I saw one 
of our own planes knocked down, while the Koreans around 
me cheered. On another day United Nations aircraft made a 

2 68 General Dean's Story 

major effort, aiming a terrific attack on Pyongyang. The 
bombersfour or five hundred of them, I think came hour 
after hour, and explosions in Pyongyang were practically 
continuous. A regular umbrella of our jets stayed overhead, 
and there was no question about control of the air. I heard no 
cheering except what I was doing, quietly, myself. 

The celebrations continued on every conceivable occasion. 
We celebrated my birthday, August i , my wedding anniver- 
sary (and the anniversary of my capture), August 25; Korean 
Thanksgiving in October; then American Thanksgiving. It 
was getting so that I dreaded the sight of another bottle of 
Bulgarian vodka or sake. 

In the autumn Captain Oh had an idea that attracted me 
more than the offers of Communist commands. It was going 
to be a cold winter, he said, and we should try to go to China. 
As a matter of fact, he was quite sure that if I made such a re- 
quest it would be acted upon favorably and Oh might get to 
go, as well as a guard of my choice. 

This was a continuous pressure, which began in September 
and kept up. Oh said, "Wouldn't you like to see with your 
own eyes that what that magazine, China Reconstructs, told 
you was true? I know you haven't been to China yourself, 
but your friends have told you about the poverty, the beg- 
gars, and the great distress. Just from what you've heard from 
your own friends, not from us, and what you'll see with your 
own eyes, you'll find that all of this reconstruction story 
is true. You'll realize what the People's government has 

I said, "Look, I'm a prisoner of war. I'd be a lame-brain, 
suggesting that I go there as a tourist." 

But Oh continued to be positive that I would get a favor- 
able reaction. He continued to tell me about how much he 

Mail, Books, and Movies 269 

wanted to go to China himself. He had been there before and 
always had wanted to go back. 

All that summer Oh visited me regularly, sometimes to test 
his English by reading passages from a book, Gentlemen of 
Japan, and having me correct his pronunciation, sometimes 
with a few guarded questions, but just as often with surpris- 
ing information. From him I learned exactly how many men 
a B-29 carried, where each of them sat in the plane, and what 
his duties were. These people had some things about us down 
to a gnat's eyebroweven some of our intramural arguments. 
Several times I was told that there was a disagreement within 
our Services about bombing the Navy wanted nothing but 
strategical targets, the Air Force was willing to go along with 
ground troops by providing some close support, but the Army 
always was left out, in the end, on what it wanted the Air to 
do. The number of things referred to me was amazing, appar- 
ently after having been elicited from others or picked up 
from our own radio or press. Usually it was patent that all 
they wanted from me was some sort of confirmation, and I 
developed a fool-proof defense. Fd express surprise and ask 
for more details. I found out that if you acted surprised and 
dumb, they filled in your dumbness. Sometimes I learned 
quite a lot, without saying anything. The one thing I did not 
learn was that peace talks had begun on July 10. 

Most of the time Captain Oh was trying to make things 
better for me, and I was grateful to him. So when this pres- 
sure about going to China kept up, I finally had a weak mo- 
mentanother of those times when my sympathy worked 
against me, and I also thought I was being clever. I thought, 
"Well, he wants to go so much, and it can't hurt me. If I 
could really get to China, boy, I'll certainly be able to escape." 

I remembered from military government days that Koreans 

270 General Dean's Story 

in whom I had confidence always said, "If you want to get 
something from a Japanese, you scold him; if you want some- 
thing from a Korean, you praise him; and if you want some- 
thing from a Chinese, you bribe him." I thought, "Well, if 
we get down there, at least the people around us will have 
been exposed to American dollars enough to know what I'm 
talking about when I promise them pay. Maybe I can bribe 
my way right out of this mess." 

I told Oh, U A11 right, I'll ask to go to China." 

So I made the request. I immediately regretted having 
made it, and did not feel bad when it was turned down. 

By October, when no great United Nations offensive had 
developed, I figured there was no point in trying to escape 
just then. There's nothing to eat in the North Korean hills 
at that season, and I figured I would have to spend about 
another thirty-five days on any escape attempt. I thought, 
"Well, again I'll have to wait until spring. About March 15 
the offensive will surely come." 

In the meantime I began working on a biography of Kim 
II Sung. Other captured people may have had occupations 
even more odd, but that one of mine should be up somewhere 
among the strangest. 

Again Captain Oh was responsible. He explained that he 
wanted to translate the biography, a thin Korean volume, into 
English for his own amusement. He would translate a page 
or two and bring it to me. I'd correct the English usually 
just substituting more suitable language for the literal trans- 
lationsand he'd take it back and type it. It was slow work 
but did give me some idea about the North Korean leader, 
an almost mythological creature, whose age even has been 
disputed widely. 

According to the biography, he now is only a little over 

Mail, Books, and Movies 2 7 1 

forty. His father had been a Korean revolutionary, jailed by 
the Japanese when the son was about twelve years old. When 
the father finally was released, his health broken by his prison 
treatment, the family went across the Chinese border, where 
the father died. As a high-school boy, Kim II Sung joined 
the youth division of the Communist party and was put in 
jail himself. When he got out he organized a guerrilla move- 
ment against the Japanese, operating from beyond the Yahi 
and making sporadic raids to kill Japanese garrisons, then 
running back into the hills. 

But, said the book, he always had Communist textbooks 
and political Instructors with his guerrillas. When the Jap- 
anese surrendered, he took over the local area, where the 
Russians found him in charge and practically deified by the 
Koreans. Because he was a disciple of Marx, the Soviets gave 
him their blessing, and thus he was on his way to control of 
the country, taking along as national leaders many of the 
guerrillas who had joined him as youngsters. 

Unfortunately I never finished this book. Oh told me one 
day that a friend of his had been officially commissioned to do 
a translation of the same volume and had it finished. There- 
after his interest lagged, and I saw no more pages. I think Oh 
had hoped to gain a promotion or notice by doing this job 
on his own, but the other fellow beat him to It. 

We never got to China, but in February 1953 we went 
north again, to Kanggye. We had followed this same route 
twenty-eight months earlier, but now no fleeing army went 
with us. I was told the move was made to avoid expected 
heavy bombing, but I thought more likely it was to get me 
out of the way of that United Nations offensive which I still 
expected on March 15. 

I now was definitely getting privileges of rank, and the 

272 General Dean's Story 

privileges consisted of one elderly American sedan, straight 
off a dead-line (out-of -repair area) in Pyongyang, and com- 
plete with the usual non-working starter and driver-with- 
peculiarities. This fellow's special belief was that lie would 
lose face by shifting gears while going uphill and the road to 
Kanggye goes over numerous mountains. Again and again and 
again, he let the engine lug until it died, then sat pleasantly 
behind the wheel while the huskiest of the guards wound the 
engine by hand. Sometimes it would start in half an hour, 
sometimes in two hours, and sometimes not at all and the tem- 
perature was six below zero. We pushed the car into one 
village; were finally helped by drivers from a Chinese convoy 
in another two-hour emergency (our driver always managed 
to block the road when he killed the engine); and in a third 
crisis were pulled over a mountain pass by a truck. 

When I wasn't wondering how soon we'd all freeze to 
death, I had my first real chance to see what the bombers had 
done while I was listening to them during the last two years. 

For one thing, the railroads had been smashed but repaired. 
I think no important bridge between Pyongyang and Kang- 
gye had been missed; and most of the towns were just rubble 
or snowy open spaces, where buildings had been. It gladdened 
my heart to see how much damage actually had been done 
but I also noticed the countermeasures. For every bridge the 
Communists thought might be hit by our Air, another bridge 
was waiting, cached nearby against the day when they'd have 
to rebuild it quickly. I don't mean just piles of material. There 
were whole bridge sections all ready to be slipped into 
place. Sometimes duplicate highway bridges had already been 
thrown across the streams, so that a bomber would have to 
get both of them in order to stop traffic. The little towns, 
once full of people, were unoccupied shells. The villagers lived 

Mail, Books, and Movies 273 

in entirely new temporary villages, hidden in canyons or in 
such positions that only a major bombing effort could reach 

These people had been hurt by bombing and still were being 
hurt by it, but it looked to me as if their countermeasures 
were improving faster than our measures of destruction. 


The J^ong f Long East 

At Kunu-ri, which had been close to the hlghwater mark 
of our invasion of North Korea, but now consisted mostly of 
dugouts, we were fed in a state restaurant, one of the Com- 
munist innovations. As nearly as I could figure, the quite 
decent meal was free, except that if the traveler wanted meat 
in his soup he had to pay fifty ton, equivalent to a cent or two 
in our money but more than a North Korean sergeant's basic 
daily pay. But perhaps this is an unfair comparison, because 
pay scales and food costs have very little relationship. These 
same sergeants were drawing five hundred ton daily as food 
ration money, and more for me. 

The entrenchments from the battle of Kunu-ri were still 
visible, and some old men told us they had been there and 
had seen American wounded in a hospital burned to death 
during that bitter fight. 

Highway traffic was controlled by flagmen every two 
kilometers, and came to a dead stop whenever airplanes were 
over us. But when our stalled sedan held up a whole Chinese 
convoy of about fifty trucks, no planes happened to be near, 
in spite of my prayers for a quick air attack. 

The town of Huichon amazed me. The city Fd seen before 
two-storied buildings, a prominent main street wasn't there 
any more. If it hadn't been for the river crossing I would not 


The Long, Long Last Days 275 

have believed this could be the same place. What few people 
remained lived in dugouts, and what had been a city was 
snow-covered fields. 

We spent that night at a private house in a village some 
twenty miles to the north, sharing it with a woman and her 
half -grown daughter. In the morning the husband, who had 
been away on a trip, returned. He showed no surprise what- 
ever at finding his home occupied by four members of the 
Inmun Gun, plus a strange-looking American. I suppose he 
must have been used to it. 

This was February 8, another holiday, the Inmun Gun an- 
niversary. We spent the morning watching schoolchildren in 
the village put on songs and dances, while our driver worked 
on the tired sedan. He got it fixed at long last by soaking 
rags in gasoline, then throwing them on top of the car's en- 
gine to get it warm enough to start. Another of his habits w^s 
to fill the gasoline tank from an open bucket while smoking a 
cigarette. Why he didn't blow himself and the sedan up I'll 
never know. 

Days later we reached Kanggye and were billeted in an 
excellent Korean house, on the side of a mountain about a 
thousand feet above the valley floor. 

Here we lived as comfortably as anyone in North Korea 
does during winter and early spring. During my afternoon 
walks outdoors I noticed more and more U. S. planes, usually 
jets operating at high altitudes, without the obvious Com- 
munist aerial opposition that had disturbed me during the 
summer. I followed them with a good deal of satisfaction- 
and the guards watched them for bacteriological bombs. My 
worm's-eye view of this phase of the war may have no im- 
portance, but it was interesting. So far as I was concerned, the 
North Koreans had started their great defensive campaign 

276 General Dean's Story 

against these nonexistent bacteriological attacks with a vigor- 
ous national inoculation campaign in February 1952. Every- 
body-soldiers, civilians, adults, and children-received four 
separate inoculations and revaccination. They were monster 
shots, and all of North Korea had fever and sore arms. Even 
I got one shot, which made my arm swell more and created a 
harder lump than any of the hundreds of shots I've received 
in our own Army. Captain Oh explained that this was a "com- 
bination shot," to combat various diseases. At the time there 
seemed to be no special reason for the campaign, but the mys- 
tery cleared up in May 1952, when I was shown alleged 
statements by American fliers confessing to the dropping of 
germ bombs. 

Oh prefaced this evidence by saying, "I know you won't 
believe it when I tell you that your Army is engaging in 
bacteriological warfare." But, he said, he actually had talked 
to pilots who admitted dropping the bombs; and later he 
brought me a Korean newspaper with a photostatic copy of 
an alleged confession, hand-written by a U. S. pilot who 
described his training for the mission, the special low-level 
attack, and all the details. 

I tossed it back to Oh. I said, "I'm not convinced. While 
this may be the handwriting of the officer whose signature 
appears there, the phraseology is not that of an American. lie 
may have written it and signed it under duress. It sounds like 
a dictated statement. I have never heard a fellow American 
say that he was 'a slave of Wall Street.' And that expression 
of sorrow is the same phraseology I've read time and time 
again in alleged confessions of others. That's a pattern. The 
officer may have signed that statement, but I wonder how 
much he was tortured before he signed itand I wonder who 
dictated it." 

The Long, Long Last Days 277 

Oh said, "I knew you wouldn't believe it. You won't be- 
lieve anything. But in your heart you must know It's true. 
What do you mean by torture? Are we torturing you?" 

I said, "No, I've never been tortured, but I continue to 
worry about officers and men of lesser rank. That's why I still 
want to go to a POW camp." 

He said, "Stop worrying about your men. They're better 
off than you are. They're all being taken care of by the 
Chinese. You're the only foreign prisoner of war still in cus- 
tody of the Koreans." 

He continued to talk about germ bombs, so I finally said, 
"What makes you think these are germ bombs, outside of 
some photos of flies crawling on the snow, which don't prove 
a thing? Has there been any more cholera, typhoid or malaria 
any more than usual?" 

He said, "No, but only because of our careful precautions. 
We had national inoculation of the population. Nobody 
could move on the roads without an inoculation card, We 
were ready for the germ bombs when they came." 

The whole thing began to make some sense from a propa- 
ganda viewpoint: first, they inoculated the population (with 
what really didn't make much difference), then announced 
that germ bombs were being dropped by an Inhuman enemy 
(the United Nations) . They were able to whip up the national 
will to fight and a first-class hate campaign without the ne- 
cessity of proving the bombing. A few carefully planted flies 
and some bomb fragments were enough to convince even 
people like Captain Oh that germ bombs actually had been 
dropped. I'm sure he still believes it. It was undoubtedly a big 
hoax, dictated from above. But man, it was sold to the people. 
"We've got to get together. We're fighting inhuman so- 
and-sos, who know no limits. We must all fight harder" 

278 General Dean's Story 

that's the line they were talking about and thinking about, 
selling to each other. And it worked. Korea has always been 
plagued by a strange and awesome variety of diseasesmalaria, 
typhoid, encephalitis, cholera, dysentery. But this hate cam- 
paign succeeded in convincing the North Koreans that all 
these were the fault of the Americans. 

The civil population became so inflamed that a downed 
airman had virtually no chance of getting away from his 
wrecked plane or parachute. Although Chinese and Korean 
intelligence officers always raced each other for downed air- 
men, most of the captures were made by farmers or villagers 
long before the military arrived. 

Perhaps a digression is worth while at this point on the 
subject of propaganda. I was interested during these years to 
hear what the Communists said about us how they argued 
their people into the idea that the American way was one of 
aggression, brutality, and exploitation of friendly peoples. 

The one thing obvious from the first was that they were 
watching all the time for any sign of weakness, any scrap of 
information, true, half -true, or not-quite-false, which could 
be ballooned into "evidence" of American wrongdoing, the 
failure of capitalism, or the sad condition of little people liv- 
ing under U. S. rule. 

Racial prejudice was their principal stock in trade. Every 
captured Negro soldier or officer was subjected to extra pres- 
sure. "Why should you fight for a country that treats your 
people so badly at home?" was the question they hammered 
at these men. 

Every time they got hold of a bit of evidence (or alleged 
evidence) of racial discrimination, especially from Negro 
prisoners, it was brought to me always with the query, 
"What is your conclusion?" 

The Long, Long Last Days 279 

Usually I either had no conclusion or told them that I 
would not believe their particular story until I had reliable 
evidence of its truth. 

Another weapon is their claim that capitalism is wasteful, 
an important point in a country like Korea, where everything 
is infinitely more precious than in the United States. Their 
pet phrase was "the anarchy of capitalist production," an ac- 
cusation based on the argument that capitalism has no planning 
in its production, suffers from excesses, huge inventories, and 
overproduction, or from false scarcities. Such an incident as 
the burning of coffee in Brazil to hold the price level, or the 
destruction of government-owned potatoes in the United 
States, is hauled out as general evidence of a condition which 
naturally, in this light, looks horrible to a people near starva- 

Another point is that through their labor unions American 
workers complain about and fight against labor-saving de- 
vices, because they put men out of work. Under communism, 
runs the theme, everyone tries to devise labor-saving equip- 
ment because there will be work for all at all times. In the 
beginning everyone will have to work harder than he would 
like, and long hours, but it will all come out right in the end, 
with everyone's labor planned, no duplication, no human 
being working for an individual rather than for society as a 
whole. Then there won't be excessive hours of labor, and each 
will receive his requirements. 

I repeat these highly colored claims because I believe we 
must understand how the Communist argues. My special 
point is for anyone who may come up against Communist 
argument, as a prisoner or otherwise. These are the things you 
will be told, so have your answers ready. 

At Kanggye we began playing chong-gun regularly again. 

280 General Dean's Story 

There had been one false start In 1952, which had ended in an 
argument when I objected to kibitzing tactics. De, in anger, 
had burned up the chong-gun board. This put me in a position 
of not being able to suggest the game again, with dignity. I 
waited until De himself suggested that we resume playing. 
This he did in March 1953, and the game became our prin- 
cipal method of passing time. 

I improved some and began working up through the chong- 
gun ranks beating first the poorest player, then challenging 
the next, and so on. At first most of the guards gave me a 
handicap, and I'd be elated when each one would admit by 
withdrawing the handicap that I was getting into his class. 
I finally succeeded even in beating De Soon Yur a few times, 
and frequently made him resort to his special form of minor 
cheating. When he did this I figured I had arrived as a chong- 
gun player. 

All cooks in North Korea apparently are known as Asi- 
monie (literally, auntie). The one we acquired at Kanggye 
was a twenty-two-year-old widow, whose husband had been 
killed by South Korean police at Kaesong in 1949. She and 
her three-year-old daughter, a whiny child, moved in with us 
on the mountain. Myungja was such a spoiled youngster that 
I lost interest in trying to make friends with her during those 
first weeks when the cold was intense and the snow deep. 
Within a short time a softer windwhat we'd call a chinook 
in the western part of the United States hit, and the sun came 
out. I began taking sunbaths outside, which also gave me a 
better light for hunting the cooties with which the house was 
infested. Occasionally I would read, while Myungja played 
around the kitchen door. 

On one such sunny afternoon, while I was deep in some 
Communist tome, the child approached me and, saying noth- 

The Long, Long Last Days 281 

Ing, extended a gift toward me. I took it without looking. 
From the circumstances and the texture of the goodie, I 
assumed it was dough, the ground-rice cake I have men- 
tioned before, and which Asi-monie frequently steamed be- 
tween meals. I put it into my mouth and had eaten about half 
of it before I realized that even Asi-monie could not have 
managed to get so much grit into a rice ball. 

It was a mud pie, gift of the daughter (now watching me 
with fascinated eyes) rather than the mother. I prefer not to 
think of the condition of the soil from which it was manu- 
facturedbut my only suffering was mental 

Asi-monie also restored my faith that Koreans do have ordi- 
nary human emotions, even during a war, I had noticed as 
soon as we settled down that one of the guards, Sohn, a 
young widower, did many things for the cook, even carrying 
water for her, which was an unheard-of courtesy. And before 
we left the story was complete. A curtain was strung up to 
divide the guards' sleeping room, and Sohn thereafter slept 
behind the curtain with Asi-monie and Myungja. I suppose I 
was witnessing the start of a new Korean household. 

I had a couple of other diet difficulties in Kanggye, which 
show, I suppose, that Americans remain squeamish to the 
bitter end. Once, on a walk, a guard discovered a rabbit, dead 
and frozen in the trail. The rabbit had a snare mark on its 
neck, so the guards were sure it was perfectly all right and 
cooked it promptly. They thought I was weak-stomached 
when I turned down iny portion. 

Also, there was a matter of a large dog, somewhat like a 
chow, that followed a half -grown girl around a nearby farm- 
house during most of the winter. One day the dog was brought 
up to our place and walked past my doorway. Seconds later 
I heard a shot, and twenty minutes after that De brought me 

282 General Dean's Story 

a nice piece of dog liver to eat. I was hungry enough to get 
that down, but the longer I thought about it, the less I wanted 
any more. The guards gorged themselves on dog meat for 
three or four days, but I passed. It was too much like eating 
an old friend. 

During this time I was trading the guards English lessons, 
on a fairly formal basis, for help with my Korean, but the 
English classes proved harder than I had expected. They 
wanted to learn the whole language in a couple of lessons, 
including both capitals and script letters. Jealousy, too, began 
to raise its ugly head. De Soon Yur had known much more 
than any of the rest, but as the classes went on it was obvious 
that Sohn was the brightest. He even learned to sound letters 
well enough so that when he'd see a new English word he 
could pronounce it. And Kim Ki Mon, a very slow-minded 
man, made up for it by infinite patience, working at his Eng- 
lish hour after hour, until I was completely exhausted. Both 
of them were doing well; and almost immediately De began 
to lose interest. 

Just before going north I had acquired some cookies, two 
pounds of sugar, and some cocoa. At the conclusion of the 
English lessons I'd make hot chocolate (without milk, natu- 
rally, but with plenty of sugar) and pass this around with the 
cookies. Asi-monie didn't like cocoa but would hold out a 
rice cup of hot water and take two heaping tablespoons of 
sugar in that. 

The classes continued until we used up all the sugar and De 
insisted that I let him take the rest of the cookies to trade for 
meat. After that the English course petered out, although Kim 
Ki Mon never stopped his individual efforts. 

As spring advanced, more and more farmers came out to 
work their fields on the mountainside; schoolchildren were 

The Long, Long Last Days 283 

assigned to other fields, usually the rockiest and most difficult 
to reach; and each of my guards spent a day a week helping 
with the planting. Their activity cut down my exercise, be- 
cause the rule that no one must see me still was in effect; but 
I got plenty of sunbaths. 

We moved, finally, to a house farther down the moun- 
tain. The rest of those months were just boredom. Nobody 
bothered me, and absolutely nothing happened not even 
mail arrived. I received no letters from December 27, 1952, 
until May 10, 1953, and then there was still no word about 
my second grandchild, whom 1 knew was due in late winter. 

On June 1 6 we moved south once more, for once traveling 
in daylight, which gave me more chance to see the effects of 
bombingthe razed cities, villages built in canyons, and rail- 
road and highway damage and repairs. I also saw elaborate 
truck hideouts in canyons and determined that supplies now 
reached the front from the operating railhead through a truck 
relay system that ran only at night. 

Although the few houses remaining in old villages were 
empty of people they weren't unused. Almost every one 
bulged with sacks and boxes of military supplies or food. 
Other supplies were carefully dumped in wild disarray, so 
that they'd look like junk in aerial photographs or to the 
pilots of planes. I was amazed at the gangs of Chinese, usually 
wearing shorts and jerseys, working on the railroads; and 
others were tilling the fields. Apparently they had just moved 
in with the Korean country families, who worked side by 
side with them, in perfect harmony so far as I could see. 

Captain Oh told me later that if a Chinese soldier misbe- 
haves with a North Korean woman he is shot immediately. 
Fie said, "They have much stronger discipline in that respect 
than we have, and the conduct of our men toward women is 

284 General Dean's Story 

much better than that of your troops. When we were retreat- 
ing we lost many of our women soldiers because they were 
ashamed to take off their clothes to cross rivers, embarrassed 
to be nude; but the Chinese women soldiers think nothing of 
it, and the men behave. You may think they do bad things, 
but they don't." 

The southbound trip was back on the truck-ride level (no 
sedan, this time), and we took all our goods even a few 
crates of live chickens obtained from the Kanggye farmers 
with us. On the second day our truck was stopped at a river 
crossing by a military policeman, who insisted that we let a 
couple of other soldiers and an officer ride. This brought on 
a terrific argument, with De, who was in charge of the truck, 
finally losing out. The truck driver, however, was like all 
North Korean chauffeurs, strictly independent, and perhaps 
somebody had hurt his feelings, for he flatly refused to go on, 
just sat there sulking, until a tank sergeant, one of those who 
had just got on, smoothed things over. 

A mile farther on another soldier, armed, tried to flag down 
the truck. The driver wouldn't stop, and the soldier wouldn't 
get out of the road. Just as the truck hit him he jumped for 
the radiator cap and hung on. 

This time the driver succeeded in making somebody mad. 
When he finally did stop and this soldier ran around from 
the radiator to yell at him, I thought there might be some 
shooting but it ended with the soldier and his buddy getting 
on to ride. Through the whole affair De had very little to say, 
and the officer-passenger never opened his mouth. 

We again passed much northbound traffic, but this was far 
different from 1950. An entire Chinese regiment passed, young 
troops, with their equipment in good shape, and I couldn't 
imagine why they were going north, as it obviously was no 

The Long, Long Last Days 285 

retreat. I'm now sure they were headed back to China, in 
view of the truce developments, and perhaps for Indo-China. 

When we got back to the village near Sunan, Captain Oh 
was there. He explained the traffic movements. Only one 
question remained at issue in the armistice talks, he said, and 
they surely would be completed in two or three days. "Gen- 
eral," he said, "you'll soon be going home. Within thirty days 
you'll be seeing your loved ones. It's only a matter of days 
now until there is an armistice." 

I hadn't seen Oh for some weeks, and he was being so 
friendly that I too tried to be pleasant. I asked, "How is your 
family, Captain?" 

And once again I received that shocking answer: "I have 
no family." 

His mother, wife, and daughter had been killed in the 
bombing of a village a week before. 

Before we had gone north to Kanggye in February I'd 
noticed the wives of the two guards working around their 
small house nearby; and once I thought that Pak's wife looked 
slightly pregnant. Now there was no doubt. On May 29 she 
gave birth to a husky son. The garden she had worked on in 
the autumn paid off too. She had corn, squash, soy beans, 
Chinese cabbage, and half a dozen other vegetables growing 
fine, where only waste land had been when she moved in. 

The next time Captain Oh came to see me he said he had 
bad news for me. General Harrison, of the United Nations 
truce team, had just announced to the Communists that Syng- 
man Rhee had liberated some twenty-five thousand non-Com- 
munist prisoners of war without consulting the United States. 

I said, "That sounds to me as if there will be no armistice." 

He said, "No, this has delayed it, but there will be one." 
He was still sure that my repatriation was only a matter of 

286 General Dean's Story- 

weeks at most, and he said, "You can't go home in those 
clothes. You must have a new suit." 

I said, "Why bother? The whole peace is off." 

"Oh no," he said, "it will be fixed up. You must have a 
white shirt and a new suit. What color do you want, brown 
or blue?" 

I said, a Brown-~I always wear brown." 

Oh said, "I think blue is more becoming to youyou should 
have blue." 

A day or so later a tailor came to make elaborate measure- 
ments, and finally the suit was delivered. It was blue. 

Presently I moved once more, to a much nicer house on the 
edge of a village complete with better food, a new cook, a 
chance to walk without worrying whether anyone would see 
me, and occasionally a swim in a river that ran at flood stage 
because a reservoir in the hills had been bombed. 

I gathered that the move to this house was to provide a 
stage for an International Red Cross visit, but they never came. 
In the meantime I made no protest whatsoever. I was living 
better than I had in three years and had no intention of say- 
ing anything to spoil it. 

The only visitors I had were photographersa whole bevy 
of movie men, both Chinese and Korean, who wanted to make 
a story about one day of my life in prison. They were filming 
what would have been a wonderful day, because they included 
walking, swimming, sitting in a chair, eating bread (which 
I hadn't seen for over a year), reading, even a few feet of me 
fishing in the river with an old Korean all dressed up as if he 
were on a picnic. 

The picture-shooting was interrupted by unaccommodat- 
ing bombers who knocked out the power lines, and on July 
1 6 I found out what a bride feels like when she's left at the 

The Long, Long Last Days 287 

church. The photographers got word that a peace might be 
signed at Panmunjom the next day and left me flat. They 
took off like rockets, the Chinese for Peiping, the Koreans 
driving all night toward Panmunjom. I don't know what, if 
anything, ever happened to the film they already had shot. 

By this time the general excitement over an impending 
peace was beginning to affect me. And its sudden coming on 
July 27 marked by a wild celebration in which hundreds of 
thousands of rounds of ammunition were wasted at Pyong- 
yangset a lot of things in motion. The very night of the 
cease-fire trains began running in and out of Pyongyang 
freely and at all hours. And with a speed remarkable when 
you consider the lack of communications, thousands of peo- 
ple suddenly surged out of the hills, leaving their caves and 
scattered shanties to pour back into the valleys, to their bomb- 
ruined homes. 

I was informed of one more move to Kaesong. The 
guards I had known for so long were left behind, and only 
one new fellow went along. I felt as if I were parting from 
long-time friends. We stopped in Pyongyang, and Captain 
Oh took me to lunch at a very nice Western-style restaurant, 
operating in the same building where I had waited briefly, in 
1950, before being taken to see General Pak at the Security 
Police headquarters. He also let me see what obviously was a 
major headquarters, cut into the side of a hill near rice pad- 
dies, but he could not get me permission to see the 30oo-seat 
underground auditorium about which my guards had spoken. 

Finally he turned me over to a lieutenant colonel and rode 
in the jeep with us to a major intersection, then shook hands 
and left us. The last I saw of him, he was standing on a corner, 
waiting for one of the rickety buses which just had started to 
run again in that demolished capital. 

288 General Dean's Story 

For me there was yet one more typical Korean auto ride 
this one in a brand-new Russian jeep. I was dressed in my new 
blue suit and new white shirt, by order, and had left behind 
all the familiar equipment of the last three years, my two 
blankets, my old clothes, and the dunnage bag that I had 
labored so hard to make. 

I was anxious to get started south, in the belief that I would 
be repatriated that same day August 5. On the road I noted 
with satisfaction the wrecked trains and shattered towns on 
which the bombers really had done a thorough job. But I also 
noticed that the jeep driver, every bit as independent as all 
the others, liked to chase trucks. On one stretch he galloped 
along for a full thirty miles, driving as hard as he could go and 
blowing the horn constantly in an effort to get around a 
convoy of six or eight trucks. But when Korean driver meets 
Korean driver, neither will give an inch of authority, and 
there's a real impasse. The trucks wouldn't get over, and our 
driver wouldn't give up the idea of passing. So we ate dust. 
My white shirt turned gray, the lieutenant colonel's uniform 
became indistinguishable, and still we chased. At the risk of 
our necks the jeep skinned past one, only to be stuck for more 
miles behind the next. We were well over an hour getting 
past the convoy. Then, the driver was in such a hurry to get 
to Kaesong (you'd have thought he was the one being re- 
patriated) that he skidded on a mountain curve, let the rear 
wheel drop over the edge of a cliff, made a miraculous recov- 
ery, and turned the jeep clear around in the road before he 
could get it straightened out again. Still the officer didn't pro- 
test. And, remarkably, we got into Kaesong finally, without 

There I lived a luxurious life. My quarters were in a former 
museum, my food was prepared by an excellent Chinese chef, 

The Long, Long Last Days 289 

I was able to walk twelve miles a day in a courtyard, and had 
a mattress and sheets again. Once my original disappointment 
at not being repatriated immediately had worn off , I was quite 
comfortable. I bathed when I liked (a wonderful privilege) 
in pools below a waterfall, built when American troops were 
occupying the town before the war. New underwear and 
socks were issued. When my blue suit, which fit very well, 
needed to be pressed, a woman did it by the typical Korean 
system, placing burning charcoal in what looked like a two- 
egg iron skillet, then pressing the suit on a blanket spread on 
the floor. It works fine, unless the presser gets nervous and 
spills charcoal on the cloth. 

The guarding lieutenant (head of quite an impressive squad 
of guards who maintained a very military setup but no longer 
bothered to keep a man in my room) and I played chong- 
gun; and there was reading-matter. Also, there was far more 
to drink than I wanted. 

There was one false start early in August when an officer 
told me one night, "Naile, tan-sen pasio" (tomorrow, you 
go). So I destroyed every paper which I imagined could 
delay my repatriation, saving only the letters that I had re- 
ceived. I especially wanted to save the sixty-four that had been 
written to me by my daughter. Someday I want her children 
to see them, so that they'll have an idea of what a wonderful 
person their mother really is. I packed my few belongings 
once more; and in the morning I dressed again in my best. 

Nothing happened at the scheduled hour of ten a.m., or all 
morning. At one in the afternoon I shrugged off the prema- 
ture hope and went back to my walking (twelve miles takes 
about three hours to do), figuring that I would have to wait 
at least until October z?, the ninetieth day from the cease- 
fire, before they would let me go. 

290 General Dean's Story 

On September 3 my guards worked all day to bring into 
the museum a big table and special chairs; and an extra cook 
arrived and began to prepare a feast in the cook-house in a 
corner of the courtyard. I asked questions, but all I could get 
from any of them was the one word, "Planza, planza" It was 
midafternoon before I connected thiswhich means "French" 
or "France" or "Frenchman" with Wilfred Burchett, who 
I had almost forgotten was French to them because he worked 
for a French newspaper. Shortly before dinnertime he arrived 
with a massive retinue of Chinese and Korean photographers 
and reporters. He said, "I have bad news. This is the last time 
I'll have an opportunity to eat with you. Bad news for me, 
but good for you. Tomorrow you're going home." 

Presently we ate, drank, and had an orgy of picture-taking, 
centering on the presentation to me of two gift packages, one 
from the United Nations Red Cross and a somewhat larger 
one from the similar Communist organization. I was impatient 
to get the photographing over with, for the most wonderful 
item in the package was an American safety razor. I shaved 
that night and again the next morning, the two most satisfy- 
ing shaves of my life. I thought then that maybe I really was 
going home. 

But there was a little more delay. When I dressed in the 
morning my fine clothes didn't suit the local guarding officer. 
I must, he said, wear another outfit that day, a coarse suit of 
some material almost like denim, a pink shirt, and a little blue 
cap. So I changed, on his order, and bundled up my good 
suit and the white shirt, not doing a very good job for fear 
of delaying things. 

About ten a.m. the lieutenant colonel who had escorted me 
from Pyongyang, but had not stayed at Kaesong, showed up 
and immediately jumped on the local officer for the way I was 

The Long, Long Last Days 291 

dressed. That outfit, he said, wouldn't do at all. There was 
great palaver, and I was told to put on the blue suit again. But 
it had been badly mussed by my quick wrapping, and they 
had trouble getting it pressed quickly with the little egg- 

In all, by their directions I tried about three different com- 
binations and ended up with a mixturethe new blue denim 
trousers, the pink shirt, tennis shoes, and the coat from the 
tailor-made suit. This satisfied nobody (except, perhaps, me, 
as I was interested mostly in getting away) , but we obviously 
had passed some sort of deadline and had to go. The lieutenant 
colonel, a guard, and I took off in another new Russian jeep. 

At the outskirts of Kaesong we came up alongside a column 
of trucks standing beside the road. Some of the gaunt Ameri- 
cans crowded into them recognized me and began to yell 
those wonderful Yankee voices hollering, "Hey, General 
Dean! Hi, General! We didn't know we were waiting for 

At the head of the column we stopped, and the Korean 
escort got out. An English-speaking Chinese officer and a 
Chinese guard with a sub-machine gun got in. 

There were a few more minutes to wait long enough to 
think briefly of three long years and the men I had known 
during them: Colonel Kim, whom I want very much to meet 
again, under different circumstances, when I might have a few 
questions to ask him; Choi, the man who disliked admitting his 
own orders but was terrified by the very thought of the Jap- 
anese; the various lesser Kims; Captain Oh, who believed 
simultaneously in the reality of germ warfare and the possi- 
bility of a permanent peace by negotiation. But mostly I 
thought about the guards, those sergeants who would hold a 
blanket for hours around the shoulders of a chilling man or 

292 General Dean's Story 

laugh when they saw a dog being tortured to death; gorge 
themselves one week and share with you their last bowls of 
rice the next; steal from each other and give away their 
precious pens or buttons; enforce the most rigorous regula- 
tions or walk ten miles through the bitter cold for a letter 
because they knew you wanted it. I thought of U Eun Chur, 
the military man, and his hidden cigarettes; Kong, the tubercu- 
lar who stood guard with an appendicitis drain in his side; 
Big Pak, the one-time guerrilla and skilled carpenter; another 
Pak who could make a watch crystal from a light bulb. 

I thought of Lee and Tal, the scholarly interpreters; of 
Burchett, the kindly man who cut himself off from his own 
people for the sake of strange beliefs; of a couple of men who 
risked their lives for me and probably saved mine but must 
not be named because they still are in North Korea; of a 
South Korean mountain farmer to whom I'd like to take a 
carton of cigarettes and say, "Well, son, I did make it, in spite 
of what you thought." 

Most of all I thought of De Soon Yur, the man with the 
short legs and stubby, wonderfully efficient fingers, the one 
who was kind all the way. I wish that he could visit me in the 
United States so that he could see with his own eyes just 
what we have. It is possible for men to be enemies and friends 
at the same time, and we were. 

I won't pretend that I did more thinking at this one time; 
but in those last hours I tried to add up a little the results of 
three years in captivity, and to assess what, if anything, I had 
learned from them. Perhaps Fm naturally naive, but the most 
important discovery to me was that the ordinary Communists 
who guarded me and lived with me really believed that they 
were following a route toward a better life for themselves and 
their children. 

The Long, Long Last Days 293 

It's easy for us to say, "Oh, but they're so badly mistaken." 
It is not so easy to explain to these men of limited experience 
just how, just why, this ideology must fail. The one perfectly 
obvious thing is that we can't convince them with fine words. 
We cannot convince them at all unless we're willing and able 
to show them something betterwhich of course we can do 
if we will. 

What I mean is illustrated by that election of 1948 in South 
Korea. It had faults, of course, but it was generally a free 
election, with a secret ballot. Nothing was attacked by the 
Communists with greater vigor. They tried to break it up at 
the time; and my interrogators were determined to prove 
that it had not been free, that it had been police-controlled, 
that Americans somehow had manipulated it to suit themselves. 
They desperately tried to discredit that election by any pos- 
sible means. 

I think the reason was simply that they in North Korea had 
never given the people anything to compare with it, there- 
fore they had to tear it down, somehow, before word of this 
wonderful thing which Americans believed, and gave to the 
people they helped, filtered too far, made their own people 
ask too many questions. The better life means freedom, in 
anybody's language, and it was the one thing the Communists 
could not afford to allow north of the border. 

I think the worst moment I had in North Korea was with 
one of my guards, the slow-brained Kim Ki Mon who was 
working so hard to learn English. Without warning one day 
he drew in the dirt a clear map of the Korean peninsula. He 
said, "Chosen (Korean) house, okay?" 

I said, "Yes, Chosen house." 

He said, "Not American house?" 

I said, "No." 

294 General Dean's Story 

"But Americans," he said, a in Chosen house. Why?" 
You and I know the complicated answer to that, but we 
have to make that man understand it too, if we would not have 
him hate us. For all of Asia we must have that answer, simply 

I have mentioned before my own acute embarrassment 
when a North Korean interrogator said to me, "Did you ex- 
plain to each of your men personally why they were fight- 
ing?" and I had to lie to him because I had failed to do that 
in the twenty days I was with troops on the Korean penin- 
sula, although I always had made a point of it in World War 
II and in Japan. Of all the resolutions I made in three years, 
I believe that one never to let such a question cause me to 
lie again is the most durable. I think it needs to be expanded 
to a general principle. Each of us needs to know exactly why 
we're fighting, in Korea or anywhere else. If we fail to under- 
stand itthrough ignorance, sloth, or insufficient explanation 
we don't do a good job even though we win. An army can 
be a show-window for democracy only if every man in it is 
convinced that he is fighting for a free world, for the kind of 
government he wants for himself, and that he personally rep- 
resents the ideals that can make a world free. And every indi- 
vidual in that army must realize that his whole country is 
judged by his behavior, at home and abroad, and not by the 
ideals to which he gives lip service, 

I am a troop commander and in no sense a politician; and I 
speak for no one else and no organization when I make public 
these things I think. But I do believe them: that we must 
present a better world than the Communists. We must have 
an answer simple enough for the dullest to understand. We 
must, each of us, really know the things for which we fight. 
If I learned anything in captivity, those were the lessons. 

The Long, Long Last Days 295 

Presently the column of trucks with our jeep at Its head 
moved south toward Panmunjom, past increasing piles of 
American clothing which would have been precious any- 
where in North Korea thrown away in the neutral zone by 
Communist repatriated prisoners as they rode north. We 
passed several northbound truckloads of these men, nearly 
naked, shouting and screaming and waving tiny little North 
Korean flags like so many truckloads of monkeys. 

Beside me, the Chinese officer, in clipped English, said, 
"Now, when we get there, don't you get out until they call 
your name. A Chinese officer will come down the line and 
read off the names. But don't you get out of the jeep until 
your name is called." 

We passed an American military policeman, standing at an 
intersection with his parked jeep, his boots, helmet, and equip- 
ment all shining and immaculate. Behind me the Americans in 
the trucks set up a concerted shouting; but for once no sol- 
dier taunted an MP. They were too glad to see him. 

We pulled up to the exchange point, and immediately a big 
American colonel stepped to the side of the jeep and saluted 
me. He said, "Welcome back, General Dean. Will you step 
out, sir?" 

Whereupon the Chinese officer spluttered, "No, no, not 
until his name is called." 

The colonel swung toward the Chinese, and suddenly looked 
twice his size. I don't doubt that he had been tried beyond 
endurance by this same Chinese before and was technically 
correct when he said, "Your authority is finished, right here. 
We'll take over, right now." As he spoke he took a step 
toward the Chinese. 

But I could see that this might develop into something 

296 General Dean's Story 

highly unpleasant and there were trucldoads of men waiting 

behind me. 

I said, "Never mind, Colonel. Let them call off the names. 
A few more minutes won't matter now. 7 ' 

Nor did they. 


Korean 'War Chronology 

June 25, 1950 North Koreans cross the 38th parallel, invading 
South Korea. 

June 30, 1950 President Truman orders U.S. ground forces to 

July 31- Americans retire to Naktong perimeter (high- 

Aug.4, 1950 water mark of Communist invasion). 

Aug. 6, 1950 U.N. forces battle to hold beachhead in southeast 
corner of the Korean peninsula. 

Sept. 15, 1950 U.N. troops make amphibious landing at Inchon, 
170 miles behind Red lines, and begin offensive 
drive into North Korea. 

Sept. 26, 1950 U.S. forces recapture Seoul. 
Oct. 7, 1950 U.N. forces cross 38th parallel. 
Oct. 19, 1950 U.N. forces capture Pyongyang. 

Oct. 26, 1950 Marines land at Wonsan, on east coast; U.N. 
troops drive toward Manchurian border; Chinese 
forces in the war. 

Nov. 26, 1950 Chinese Communists launch massive drive that 
eventually carries past the 38th parallel. 

Dec. 24, 1950 Evacuation of Hamhung completed by U.S. 

Jan. 4, 1951 U.N. forces lose Seoul a second time. 


300 Korean War Chronology 

Jan. 14, 1951 U.N. forces stop Chinese thrust 75 miles below 
38th parallel. 

March 18, 1951 U.N. forces recapture Seoul. 
June 13, 1951 U.N. forces drive to 38th parallel. 

June 23, 1951 Jacob Malik, Russia's representative to the United 
Nations, says: "Discussions should be started . . . 
for a cease fire." 

July 10, 1951 Truce talks begin. 

Dec. 1 8, 1951 U.N. and Communists exchange prisoner lists. 

July 27, 1953 Cease fire! 

Sept. 4, 1953 Repatriation of prisoners begins. 

Ahn Chai Hong, 111-12 

Almond, Maj. Gen. Edward (Ned), 
1 80 

Ansong, Korea, 20, 21, 23 

Armed Forces, U.S.; see also United 
Nations forces 
ist Cavalry Division, 28, 38 
ist Infantry Division, 189 
3rd Infantry Division, 189 
yth Infantry Division, n, no, 138, 

J 39 

Eighth Army, u, 25, 120, 181, 189 
1 9th Infantry ("Rock of Chicka- 

mauga") Regiment, 14, 26, 27-28 
2 ist Infantry Regiment, 14, 26, 27 
24th Infantry Division, 12, 13-14, 

15, 16, 17, 100, 113, 115, 124, 251; 

24th Division Medical Battalion, 


24th Infantry Regiment, 100 
25th Infantry Division, 28, 100 
3oth Infantry Regiment, 8 
34th Infantry Regiment, 14, 20, 21, 

23, 24-30, 36, 48 
38th Infantry Regiment, 6 
44th Infantry Division, 910 
63rd Field Artillery Battalion, 27- 


Air Force, U.S., 240 
Marines, U.S., 134, 182, 189 
Task Force Smith, 18, 20, 21, 22, 


X Corps 1 80, 189, 245 
Armed Forces Industrial College, 8 

Army War College, 8 
Ascom City, Korea, 106 
Asi-monie, 280-81, 282 

Barth, Brig. Gen. George, 21-22 
Beauchamp, Col. Charles, 36 
Beiderlinden, Brig. Gen. William A., 


Berkeley, Calif., 6, 90, 151, 261 
Big Pak, 267, 292 

Bissett, Capt. David, 46, 67-68, 258 
Bradley, Gen. Omar N., 229 
Brown, Col. Rothwell, 148 
Burchett, Wilfred, 238-45, 248, 249, 

251, 255, 256, 257, 260, 290, 292 

Camp Hackamore, Calif., 8 
Carlyle, 111., 5 
Cheju-do, Korea, 142, 147 
Chemical Warfare School, 8 
Chian, Manchuria, 184-86 
"Chicks," see Armed Forces: i9th 

Infantry Regiment 
Chinan, Korea, 49, 74, 77, 79, 86, 87, 

93, in, 179 
Chinese forces, 173, 181, 187, 189, 

2IO-H, 215, 239, 261, 263, 283-84 
Chinese People's Republic, 249, 255 
Chinsan, Korea, 50, 57 
Chochiwon, Korea, 26, 27, 154 
Choesin-dong, Korea, 174, 201 
Choi, Lt. Col., 137, 139-40, 144, 145, 

146, 148, 150, 153, 158, 160-64, 

190, 200, 234, 235-36, 291 

3 OI 


Choi Cheng Bong, 82 
Chonan, Korea, 19, 23, 24, 25 
Chonju, Korea, 60, 76, 88, 102, 107, 

109, in 

Chosen National Bank, 144 
Chun, 240, 241 
Church, Brig. Gen. John EL, 17, 19- 


Cicero, Dave, 253 
Civilian Conservation Corps, 8 
Clarke, Lt. Arthur M., 21, 30-35, 39- 

44, 45-46, 67-68, 103, in, 158, 258 
Command and General Staff School, 

Communist doctrine, 12223, 126-27, 

167, 170-71, 192, 278-79 
Communists (North Korean), n, 

64, 86, 107, 117, 130, 135, 138, 147, 

150, 274, 278, 292-93-, see also 
Inmun Gun and North Korean 

De Han Gool, 211, 231, 264-65, 267 
De Soon Yur, 164, 167-68, 180, 192, 

193-94, 202, 2O8, 212, 213, 22O-2I, 

223, 224, 225, 226, 228, 229-30, 231, 
232-33. 237, 2 5<>i 25 2 i 259, 262, 264, 
265, 267, 280, 281-82, 284, 292 

Dean, Charles Watts, 5 

Dean, David, 6 

Dean, Elizabeth Frishe, 6, 250, 251 

Dean, Mildred Dern, 7-8, 13, 67-68, 

151, 156, 234, 241, 243, 250, 251, 
258, 261 

Dean, William (Bill), 13, 156, 243 

Deane, Philip, 124 

Dern, Mildred, see Dean, Mildred 


Dulles, John Foster, 138 
Dunn, Maj. John J,, 36 

E Sun Koom, Sgt., 188, 194-95 
Eun Suk Koo, 94, 97 

Fort Benning Infantry School, 8 


Fort Douglas, Utah, 6-8 

Fort Leaven worth, Kan., 8, 10, 141 

General Staff, War Dept., 8 
Geneva Convention, 100, 141, 162, 
184, 237 

Hamhung, Korea, 189 

Hampton, Col. Henry (Hank), 219- 


Han Doo Kyoo, 78-82, 85 
Han River, Korea, 109 
Handlcman, Howard, 253 
Harrison, Gen. William K., 285 
Hatficld, Capt. Raymond D., 37-38, 


Hodge, Lt. Gen. John R., 10 
Hong, Lt. Col., 137, 140-42, 145, 146, 

147, 148, 150, 153, 158-59, 161 
Huichon, Korea, 165-66, 168-71, 173, 

203, 274-75 

Imjin River, Korea, 116, 117 
Inchon, Korea, 15, no, 134, 165, 215 
Inmun Gun ("People's Army"), 48, 
50, 51, 72, 77, 78-79, 84, 86, 87, 95, 
97, 99, 104, 109-10, 113, 115, 117, 
237, 258-59, 265, 275; see also North 
Korean Army 
Innsbruck, Austria, 10 
International News Photos, 261 
International Red Cross, 286, 290 

Japanese Coast Guard, 15 
Japanese troops, 190 

Kaesong, Korea, 117, 239, 264, 287, 

288, 291 
Kanggye, Korea, 173-74, 271-72, 275, 

279, 280-81, 285 

Keane, Maj. Gen. William, 100 
Kim, Capt., 183-86, 188, 192, 204-205 
Kim, CoL, 123-24, 126-28, 130-33, 

136-39, 141, 145-47, 15*1 *52, I54~ 

160, 161, 186, 216, 218, 236, 249, 291 



Kirn, Jimmy, 30 

Kim, Kimmy, 93 

Kim, Maj., 137, 142-44, 153, 158, 206, 

224, 228-29, 234-35, 263 
Kim II Sung, 239, 245, 266, 270-71 
Kim II Sung University, Korea, 120 
Kim Ki Mon, 282, 293 
Kim Kyu Sik, 111-12 
Kim Song Su, 208, 212 
Kim Sung Soo, 1 16 
Kokura, Japan, 12 
Kong, 211, 221-22, 265, 292 
Kongju, Korea, 26, 27 
Korean Military Advisory Group 

(KMAG), 16, 121 
Korean People's Republic, 240, 242 
Kum River, Korea, 18, 23, 26, 27, 28 
Kumchon, Korea, 19, 49 
Kumsan, Korea, 33, 39, 48, 49, 57, 60 
Kunu-ri, Korea, 274 

Lee, Maj. Gen., 235-37, 245 

Lee Bum Suk, 21 

Lee Heung Koon, Gen., 140 

Lee Kyu Hyun, 120-23, 125, 131, 133, 

135, 159, 164-65, 292 
Li Heng Peng, 251, 253-55, 256-58 
Liberation Park, Pyongyang, 120, 


Liu, 248-49 
Lovett, Robert, 229 

Mac Arthur, Gen. Douglas, 107, 138, 


Manchuria, 183-86 
Manpo, Korea, 174, 175-80, 182, 187, 

196, 198, 199, 211, 231 
Marshall, Gen. George C., 229 
Martin, Col. Robert B., 24-25, 36, 68 
McCarthy, Joseph, 123 
McDaniel, Maj. S. C., 36-37 
Meloy, CoL Guy S. (Stan), 27 
Menoher, Brig. Gen. Pearson, 28 
Muir, Maj. Gen. James I., 9 

Muju, Korea, 72, 74 
Myungja, 280-81 

Noel, Frank, 245, 254 

Nonsan, Korea, 28 

North Korean Army, 13, 15, 19, 21, 
22, 24, 25, 27, 30, 33, 41, 42, 43, 45, 
46-47, 49, 53, 55, 59, 67, 72, 84, 93, 
96, 102, 105, no, 113, 115, 121, 134, 
139, 153, 174, 175, 178, 239, 248, 259, 
266, 267, 272, 275, 295; see also 
Inmun Gun 

North Korean people, 121, 124-25, 
138, 211-12 
homes, 165-69, 176-77 

Northwest Youth Group, 24 

Oahu, T.H., 8 

Oh Ki Man, Capt., 224, 229, 234, 237, 
238, 240-41, 245-46, 247-48, 249, 
250, 252, 256, 257-58, 261, 262, 263, 
264, 265, 266, 267, 268-71, 276-77, 
283, 285-86, 287, 291 

Okchon, Korea, 27 

Okinawa, 144 

Omaha Beach, France, 9 

Oreo, Korea, 119 

Osan, Korea, 19, 20, 21, 22, 105 

Pack Chun Bong, 164, 174, 194, 195, 

204, 206, 208, 211, 212, 230, 265 
Paekchon, Korea, 117 
Pak, 208, 212, 267, 285, 292 
Pak, Gen,, 133, 141, 151, 287 
Panama Canal Zone, 8 
Pang Ha Sae, Lt. Gen., 133 
Panmunjom, Korea, 252, 253, 287, 


Partridge, Lt. Gen. Earle E., 75 
People's Army, see Inmun Gun 
Perry, CoL Basil H., 22 
Pusan, Korea, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 

60, 75, 76, 93, 97, 130 
Pyongtaek, Korea, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 


304 Index 

Pyongyang, Korea, 117, 119-21, 125, Sunan, Korea, 125-26, 129, 136, 151, 

133, 135, 136, 164-65, 214, 235, 252, 197, 199, 211, 285 

254, 267-68, 272, 287 Suwon, Korea, 18, 19, 105, 109, 115, 

Pyun, 195-96, 202 220 

Redding, Calif., 8 

Republic of Korea (ROK) Army, 

see South Korean Army 
Requirements Div. of Ground 

Forces, 8-9, 260 
Rhee, Clarence, 85 
Rhee, President Syngman, 22, 82, 90, 

91, 96, 101, 107, 112, 117, 127, 138, 

162, 164, 240, 285 

Rich, John, 253 

Roberts, Brig. Gen. Lynn, 16 

Rowlands, Capt. Richard, 34, 42 

Sangjon-myon, Korea, 86 

Sapporo, Japan, n 

Security Police, North Korean 

Army, 115, 120, 133, 169 
Seoul, Korea, 10-11, 15, 16, 18, 84, 

108, 109, no, 115, 116, 121, 141, 

163, 178, 180, 189, 204, 206, 216 
Smith, Lt. Col. Charles B. (Brad), 

17, 22 

Sohn, 281, 282 

Song Ho, Brig. Gen,, 148, 266 
South Korea, U.S. military govern- 
ment, lo-n, 92-93, 112, 141-44, 

147-50, 162-64, 293 
South Korean (ROK) Army, 14, 18, 

19, 20-21, 33, 105, 108, 121, 139-40, 

142, 148 

i4th ROK Regiment, 148 
South Korean government, 90, 92, 95, 

96, 124, 127, 138, 139, 147-48, 293 
South Korean people, 19, 87, 107, 132 
Spragins, Maj, Gen. Robert L., 9 
Stalin, Joseph, 117, 215, 245, 255-56 
Stevens, Col. Richard ("Big Six"), 

Sukchon, Korea, 165 

Tabor, Lt. Stanley, 48-54, HI 
Tacgu, Korea, 19, 49, 50, 56, 60, 73, 

74i 7<$, 77i 93, Hi 
Taejon, Korea, 17, 18-19, 20, 22, 26, 

27-33. 3 6 > 37-38 42, 49, 54, 102-103, 


Taepyong-ni, Korea, 27 
Tal, 137, 154, 164, 168, 169, 179, 180, 

189, 200, 258-59, 292 
Tass, 97 

j8th parallel, u, 13, 14, 132, 216, 239 
Tokyo, 264 

Truman, Harry S., 101 
Tuckman, Robert, 253 

U Bong Song, 211 
U Eun Chur, Sgt., 164, 165, 172, 174, 
175, 177, 192-93, 194, 197, 199-200, 

2OI-202, 204, 206, 208, 20OII, 217 
2O, 228, 292 

Um, 211, 265 

United Nations, 92, 113, 122, 197, 

2 3S> 245* 2 59> 2 % 

United Nations forces, 102, no, 121, 
128, 171, 201, 204, 215, 216, 229, 
2 37 *37* 2 39> 2 <>7> 270, 271, 277 

University of California, 6, 122 

Ver Mehr, Mrs. Leonard, 6, 
Vermillion, Robert, 253 
Vollmer, August, 6 

Wadlington, Lt. Col, Robert L. 

(Pappy), 36, 38 
Walker, Lt. Gen. Walton, n, 25-26, 

130-31, 219-20, 229 
Wallace, Henry, 101 
War Dept. General Staff, 8 

Index 305 

Welch, Dorothy, 7 Yalu River, Korea, 120, 174, 183, 189, 

White, Cpl. Malcolm D., 114 215 

Williams, June Dean, 13, 68, 156, Yokohama, Japan, 1 1 

241, 243, 250, 258, 289 Yongdam, Korea, 65 

Williams, Capt. Robert, 13 Yongdong, Korea, 27, 28, 37, 49 

Wmnington, Alan, 241, 260 Yongdong-po, Korea, 163 

Wonsan, Korea, 182 Yusong, Korea, 26 

fan. 1$, 19$1 


VVUM/V of Attack awl Comteratfack 




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